group of passionate business owners have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication.
After successfully completing a Small Business Academy programme of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), 20 participants from around Cape Town graduated with a pass rate of 91% on Friday last week.
The programme is sponsored by Absa and the Distell Foundation.
The nine-month programme included training on business administration, financial management, IT skills and marketing amongst others.
Participants were subjected to a strict selection process to ensure the best suited participants were selected.
The Small Business Academy is an officially registered programme at the USB, says programme director Dr Marietjie Theron-Wepener.
Director of the Business School, Prof Piet Naude, was the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. He congratulated the graduates on their achievements.
“The world owes you nothing, you owe the world your skills and you will succeed and then the rewards will come,” said Naude.
The ceremony included three special awards.
The award for Most Improved Student was given to Nomvano Mbathiso from Siqalo informal settlement near Mitchell’s Plain.
The aim of her business is getting the youth off the street to play soccer.
The owner of the Try Again Football Club (Ayatshisa Mateki) was surprised when they called out her name.
The programme was difficult and she wanted to quit, she said, but her mentor helped her and she pulled through.
Phumlani Dlongwana from Philippi also received an award. His business, Waste to Food, was elected the Business with the Most Potential.
He was extremely happy and could not believe that he was chosen for the award.
Dlongwana is making a significant contribution in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at landfill sites in Cape Town. Applying advanced technology, his business converts food waste and clipped garden waste into compost.
He encourages people not to take small businesses for granted.
Aashiqa Essop from Brackenfell received the award for Top Student, as she received the highest mark overall.
She was overwhelmed and said that her mentor told her that coming on top would give her great exposure and she would excel.
But she did not do this for herself but for her business, as she is driven and motivated to succeed in her business.
Essop and her husband are the owners of an automotive electronic workshop called Magic Worx.
“A river that flows past you into the ocean looks very big but, if you go into the origins, it’s small and insignificant, until all the streams comes together and becomes one. That is what we at the USB would do to create little streams so that they can grow bigger in the years to come,” said Naude.