Raizcorp has been awarded international accreditation for its Certified Entrepreneurial Guide (CEG) programme and has been named as the exclusive Centre of Excellence in South Africa by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI), the government-approved, non-profit standards setting body for small business support and development in the UK.
“This is a real feather in our cap and will open up all sorts of opportunities for Raizcorp and for practitioners who complete our programmes. Our CEG graduates may now be lodged on SFEDI’s international database,” says Linda Hart, head of the Raizcorp Guiding Academy.
The Raizcorp CEG programme is a 12-month continuous learning programme that capacitates entrepreneurial support practitioners to guide small businesses at entry level and start-up to profitability and success.
It now meets the UK’s national qualifying standards criteria, known as OFQUAL, for enterprise development and small business support. “This achievement is the culmination of the more than ten years that Raizcorp has spent developing innovative and effective systems and processes for small business support,” says Hart.
With the SFEDI accreditation in place, according to Hart, the Raizcorp offering is a first for South Africa. “Until now, there has been no benchmark in South Africa for the quality of our services. In fact, in the absence of recognised industry standards in this field, the professionalism of practitioners of enterprise development has been largely self-regulated,” she explains.
The Guiding Academy engaged the help of the USAID Financial Sector Programme (FSP). According to Hart, the technical assistance provided played a major part in Raizcorp being honoured with the SFEDI Centre of Excellence status.
Raizcorp’s CEO, Allon Raiz, says that unregulated enterprise development support is being practised by countless practitioners and organisations throughout South Africa and Africa. “Raizcorp aims to raise the bar through the Raizcorp Guiding Academy where practitioners can gain professional accreditation. SME support institutions will also benefit by being able to quantify the competencies of their practitioners, set appropriate rates for their services and match their practitioners with the needs of their clients,” he says.
When asked about the value of an international accreditation for the local environment, Raiz believes that, since we operate in a global economy, the principles of small business success are relevant throughout the world. “Raizcorp’s methodology incorporates solutions that suit our local needs as well as bringing in the best of what is on offer world wide,” he says. “The SFEDI accreditation will empower Raizcorp to professionalise the standard of enterprise development practice in this country.”
For more information on the Raizcorp Guiding Academy, contact Linda Hart on +27 (0)11 566 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.