Massmart, GIBS to train 49 SMEs

Retailing giant Massmart has teamed up with the Gordon Institute of Business Science and reality show programme producer Big Break Legacy to beef up its enterprise developmemnt programme.

Massmart is taking on 48 delegates to participate in a 12-month business management programme with an aim of developing these small to medium sized businesses into globally competititve enterprises. Some of these businessed are already in Massmart’s shelves. Entry into the Massmart shelves promises international exposure given the fact that Massmart is a subsidiary of global retail giant Walmart.

The statement announcing the initiative said the training programme comprises a six-month academic course and six months of support services. The curriculum covers important business functions such as strategy, marketing, financial management and accounting, leadership, operations, negotiation and legal/compliance issues.

Massmart is covering the full certificate course cost. Massmart Supplier Development Executive Mncane Mthunzi said “The key challenge facing entrepreneurs today is training. While they understand their core business, they often need help in terms of broader management and business skills.”

We need to develop our human capital if we are going to grow our economy. Massmart is delighted to be involved with this programme as it will help diversify our supplier base while also offering specialised training that could change the lives of entrepreneurs in South Africa,” said Mthunzi.

The 49 entrepreneurs will receive training from the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s Enterprise Development Academy.

GIBS Enterprise Development Academy Director Yogavelli Nambiar said “The public sector and big corporates have limited capacity to create new jobs, and the National Development Plan refers to 90% of new jobs having to come from micro, small and medium enterprises by 2030.
“At the same time, it is commonly known that 80-90% of new businesses fail in the first two years.  If South Africa is to achieve the goal of having the SME sector produce the largest quantity of jobs, these enterprises need to be supported to be sustainable, to grow and to thrive. Part of this support is providing the entrepreneur with access to business education, mentorship, linking them to capital and new markets, and other resources, which the businesses will benefit from through the 12-month programme.”

Founder and chairman of The Big Break Legacy Ezra Ndwandwe said “We started this initiative to take advantage of our TV property and to continue assisting the development of entrepreneurs while helping small businesses to access opportunities in big corporates through enterprise development.”

Massmart is the first of many clients of BBL that has taken the leap of faith in our programme and see this as an opportunity to bolster its own supplier database with new businesses that prove worthy of being in their shops. The idea is to develop new suppliers that are competent and who understand the entire value chain of the business they will be engaging with.

We are grateful to Massmart for having the belief in our property that they have entrusted us with a programme of this nature to develop suppliers. This is where real business starts because once a business is in the Massmart supplier database, the opportunities are endless.”

The statement said Massmart will meet individually with each of the selected participants, who it is not currently doing business with, to assess the opportunity to do business in the future.

Massmart is committed to developing business with local suppliers of services and products in the South African market.  Entrepreneurs who are enrolled in the course include Kobela Mokgohloa, smallholder farmer and supplier of cucumbers to Massmart, and Antoinette Vermooten, CEO Bayede! Wine. Both are already participants in Massmart’s supplier programmes. Massmart has established Supplier Development Programmes to assist developing South African suppliers, in particular, any Small-to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME), either black-owned, black-empowered or is a local manufacturer of products. The purpose of the programmes is to assist Massmart’s suppliers in enhancing the quality of their products, thereby improving the company’s procurement and supply chain regime.”

Ndwandwe said The Big Break Legacy reality TV show, while not directly linked to the development programme, is an important instrument to create awareness, show what it takes to be an entrepreneur, to demystify the concept of entrepreneurship and to encourage entrepreneurs.

Television,” he said “is about showcasing what it means to be an entrepreneur and what it takes to respond to different challenges that businesses face daily – it acts as a platform to build awareness. The real change is in action and that is where an academic programme of this nature is vital – to develop beyond TV and to showcase the entire value chain of starting and sustaining a business in real life with real opportunities.” 

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