The CCDI services include providing tailor-made business knowledge and creative workshops, assisting businesses to access market opportunities locally and internationally, and providing access to a well-equipped laboratory space for product refinement, prototyping and sample-making.
As a craft and design sector development agency, the CCDI provides a wide range of business support training and development services which have been designed to meet the specific needs of creative businesses and for enterprises in various industries that want to think more creatively about how to grow their businesses.
The Raymond Ackermann Academy of Entrepreneurial Development is a post matric tertiary level academy, which is based at UCT’s Graduate School of Business and at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg. It offers an inspiring, innovative and practical six-month programme in entrepreneurial development to young people who have not had the opportunity to access tertiary education – but who are passionate about business and personal development.
The two organisations have been exploring the possibility of developing a partnership in which the CCDI will offer continued support to RAA alumni and also help to link them to other entrepreneurs to enable them to develop their own business networks. The current group have small businesses in a range of fields including health, transport, corporate gifting, cleaning and recycling, furniture manufacturing, marketing, events, fashion, hair and beauty and tourism.
“We saw an opportunity to connect with the CCDI which we see as a great complement to the support that we provide for young entrepreneurs in our GESS programme,” said RAA director, Elli Yiannakaris.
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“Being an entrepreneur takes passion, self-motivation, courage and skill. It also requires networks and support. At the RAA we recognise that being a young entrepreneur is even more challenging and sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand along the way.
The GESS initiative is an incredibly important component of the RAA offering in that is provides critical support to graduates in the start-up phase of their business, specifically access to information, networks and the proper support structures. It’s therefore a necessary stepping stone to the next level entrepreneurial journeys.”
The orientation workshop at the CCDI included an overview of the various services including providing tailor-made business knowledge and creative workshops, assisting businesses to access market opportunities locally and internationally, and providing access to a well-equipped laboratory space for product refinement, prototyping and sample-making.
They were also introduced to the CCDI’s business assessment tool which was specially developed to assist entrepreneurs to identify what their strengths and weakness are, and help them to understand their skills and improve on their strengths.
The participants also took part in a group exercise in which they were challenged to build a tower with 20 pasta sticks, tape and a marshmallow. The Marshmallow challenge is widely used by corporates to build team-work, collaboration and creativity. The exercise also helps participants realise how they as individuals take on new challenges and work out solutions.
One of participants said of the challenge: “I have learned that working as a group is better than working alone because you can learn a lot from the other people. I have learned that when I make mistakes I should learn from them”. Another said that he learned that entrepreneurs need to observe their competition and know what is happening in the market.
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CCDI’s Programme Director, Mariette Williams said in her welcome address to the group that part of what we do is to create an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive, and this is why the CCDI is very interested in the RAA alumni. Although our emphasis is on creative businesses, all enterprises are creative in terms of how the entrepreneurs design, run and grow their business.
“It’s up to you to understand what it is that you need out of the process in order to chase it. And we are willing as the CCDI to start at whichever point you feel is necessary. It’s about taking the next step. There are a lot of people who dream but ultimately it’s about starting.”
For more information about the CCDI and its services for emerging small enterprises go to the website www.ccdi.org.za.