Fifteen SMMEs in the Saldanha Bay Municipal area are celebrating the recent successful completion of a two-phase business accelerator programme. Having completed the first phase in 2020, this cohort of SMMEs were selected to receive further support to help them expand their business markets and grow their small businesses. This was provided through a range of activities that promote sustainability, even during harsh economic climates, such as the ongoing health pandemic.
Funded by Umoya Energy and implemented by Africa’s Got Game, the Blended Business Accelerator Programme is aimed at developing the entrepreneurs’ tech skills with a special focus on marketing their business online. In addition to this, participants gained in-depth business knowledge, skills, and incubation opportunities.
“Our objective with this programme is to facilitate connections for local SMMEs and enhance access to market opportunities that are outside of the West Coast. This will increase and create more opportunities for growth in both private and public sectors. This will also stimulate local jobs creation and generate revenue, which will in turn boost the local economy,” said Amber Zeeman, Community Liaison Officer for Umoya Energy.
The first phase of this programme, which lasted eight months, offered mentorship to foster business growth, personal development and specific guidance regarding risk management in relation to the current health pandemic. As a result, small business owners participating in this programme have already seen an expansion in their businesses, since the launch of the first phase in 2020.
One such entrepreneur, Enrico Adams, owner of Jokwa Marine, had this to say: “The training helped me see where my business needs to improve. It also inspired me to become even more compliant for the private sector and to develop a competitive edge to use as a marketing tool.”