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South Africa: Business Acumen Enables SA's Entrepreneurs
Source: SA - the Good News
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Focus: Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 14, 2013

“South Africa needs to move beyond talking about entrepreneurship or creating jobs and actually take concrete steps in actively empowering individuals who are embracing the envisioned entrepreneurial spirit. The IMBIZO Business Acumen programme is a demonstration of our joint commitment to the outcomes which are essential to addressing the country’s challenges such as unemployment and poverty,” said Debra Marsden, Head of Business Transformation & Public Affairs at Wiphold.
Marsden says the Imbizo Business Acumen Programme was launched as a continuation of the IMBIZO concept which is also championed by Nedbank, Old Mutual, Mutual & Federal, Masisizane and Wiphold with the aim of igniting economic activity in poor communities in South Africa. “We piloted the IMBIZO concept at Centane in the Eastern Cape and have since grown to be in 17 sites across four provinces, namely; Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Our commitment to enabling entrepreneurial spirit is what continues to drive the success of the IMBIZO concept which led to the introduction of the IMBIZO Business Acumen Programme.”
Among the budding entrepreneurs who took part in the 2012 programme and saw real value is Jabu Masuku who runs a clothing business in Freedom Park, Johannesburg. “I was initially skeptical of joining the programme because I was worried that it would take-up the time I should have been spending at my business but the lessons were incredible from the start. I’ve learnt about running a small business efficiently, including the fact that I was sabotaging my own business by using every cent that came in,” he says.
Jabu’s sentiments resonate with Nhlanhla Maseko who attended the 2013 phase of the IMBIZO Business Acumen Programme. Nhlanhla says, “The programme has opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist in order to grow my business. Even though economic conditions are still tough, running my business efficiently could form a foundation for future growth.”
Marsden emphasises that there’s a need for more initiatives to boost small business. She says given that two-thirds of the workforce in South Africa is employed within Small Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), ensuring the sustainability of this market is important to continue enabling sustainable economic growth.
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