In her recent State of the Province Address, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said that greater focus needed to be placed on the entrepreneurial development of women and youth in the province.
A statement that Gauteng Provincial Deputy Director of Visual Arts, Craft and Design, Mthunzi Ndimande, takes very seriously.
So much so, that he along with the Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts, and Culture has already started implementing business mentorship programmes in partnership with The Vuka Mentorship Programme ,a structured enterprise development initiative. This collaboration is a perfect example of how the successful development of small businesses and entrepreneurs can foster economic growth in South Africa.
Understanding the programme
The Vuka Mentorship ProgrammeTM, which was implemented in January 2012, managed the mentoring process of 20 entrepreneurs who reside all over Gauteng, including Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Tshwane, the West Rand, and Sedibeng.
Ndimande says that the programme has laid a foundation for these entrepreneurs’ long term success, by transforming their fundamental business strategy.
“The tools that the Vuka Mentorship Programme TM has provided has helped to transform the business mind sets of the participants from being purely product-centric to being more market based. Subsequently, they are now more strategic in their business focus, and can correctly identify what business opportunities are available, and how they can make use of this in alignment to their business offering.”
Further, he notes that the programme has also raised the confidence level of the participants, which will ultimately provide them with the motivation to build successful businesses that will add lasting value to the economy, and further foster the entrepreneurial development that Premier Mokonyane is calling for.
Extending the programme
Sharon Reed, CEO of Neosho119, which runs the Vuka Mentorship Programme TM, says that the benefit that the programme has provided to the Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts, and Culture could be extended to numerous other organisations and companies.
“The Vuka Mentorship ProgrammeTM has the requisite tracking mechanisms and tools to ensure that corporate companies can cultivate viable small, medium and micro enterprises as part of its local procurement and supply chain strategies.
“Ultimately, we have the capabilities to effectively assist the widespread creation of small, world class businesses, which in turn, stimulate job creation opportunities.”
Ndimande concludes that increased participation in The Vuka Mentorship Programme TM will not only benefit Gauteng but South Africa’s long term economic and socio-economic prospects.
“It is crucial that more South African companies and organisation become involved with The Vuka Mentorship Programme TM, so that more entrepreneurs can reap the initiative’s benefits and become positive contributing members of society.”