For many small businesses, trying to find a good mentor can be daunting, let alone appointing one. As a result, many small and medium businesses (SMEs) grow without guidance and learn the hard way about the pitfalls of starting or sustaining a business.
A recent study on mentorship programmes for SMEs by Kabbage, Inc, a United States (US) based global financial services, technology, and data platform, surveyed more than 200 small businesses in the US to understand the importance of mentorship to small business owners.
The study revealed that 92 percent of small businesses agree mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business.
Yet when it comes to seeking support, most SMEs primarily think of funding. For Colab Concepts, a boutique architectural firm based in Cape Town, that was not the case. They looked at their needs holistically and successfully applied to the Sanlam ESD Programme. Since then Colab Concepts has benefitted from tailored mentorship that has contributed to its growth.
Founded in 2013 by a determined father and daughter Team, Trevor Adams and Kirsty Ronné, Colab Concepts specialises in interior design. The business is 100% black owned, and 80% black woman-owned.
The businesses’ philosophy revolves around an ethos of a collaboration of skills, ideas, and resources.
“Collaboration across creative disciplines is what is needed to practically answer the hard challenges facing our country and design today. We particularly like collaboration across creative disciplines to design original solutions”, says Ronné.
Colab Concepts joined Sanlam’s two-year enterprise supplier development programme in 2018. “We became aware of the programme, applied and we were successful,” says Ronné.
Sanlam’s ESD programme runs in cooperation with ASISA to provide investment funding and business development to small and medium enterprises. Established in 2013, the programme has helped develop over 180 small and medium enterprises, and supported more than 1300 jobs.