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Entreprising SMEs

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has entered new territory with the launch of the pilot
phase of its Enterprise Development Programme this morning, 31 October 2014.

Over 30 small business owners and managers will enjoy the benefit of an effective combination of mentorship and skills development aimed at growing small business, enhancing their eligibility for funding, assisting them with export-readiness, giving them insights into new markets, and increasing their job creation potential.

Together with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation as a partner, and the Business Chamber’s
SME Helpdesk, supported by Standard Bank, the Chamber steps into a new space in support of small business.

Over 30 small businesses have signed up for the free Enterprise Development programme, which is targeted at owners and managers of small businesses that qualify in terms of the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice.

Applications for the pilot phase of the Enterprise Development Programme are now closed.

Up to 75% of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s members fall under the category of SME, which, Operations and Finance Director Zoe Waters explains, means they employ fewer than 50 people. “Small businesses are recognised as the engines of the Eastern Cape economy,” she says. “We want to see our members begin to operate sustainable businesses that will grow into new markets, and create new, much-needed opportunities for employment and job creation.”

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Enterprise Development Programme:
Helps participants to understand the elements of being market ready, growing their
businesses and creating sustainable jobs.
Offers an effective combination of mentorship and skills development.
Pairs each SME owner or manager with an expert mentor in the field or area needed.
Combines Core and Elective courses through classroom training, soft skills and informational

The ECDC will assist the participants in the Enterprise Development Programme to become finance-ready.

“We will use the pilot phase of this programme to fine-tune our offerings to the specific needs of
each of the participating companies,” says Waters. “The aim is to multiply the effects of this programme, and to help as many companies as possible.”

Participants include the owners and managers of a variety of different companies in various sectors, including business services, hospitality, media and information technology. Each has been in operation for a minimum of three years.

Additional benefits will accrue to all participating small businesses. The participants will have access to:
 Services such as business plans, sales strategy and implementation, marketing plans and activations, as well as strategic direction through the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC).
 Enhanced chances of being eligible for funding with the ECDC.
 Exposure to being export ready and insights into new markets