The IMBIZO Business Acumen Programme has seen through training and development of 20 entrepreneurs from Mnquma Emerging Commercial Farmers Association in a move tagged as part of a broader critical intervention to address South Africa’s unemployment.
A statement released yesterday said the 20 Eastern Cape farmers were set to graduate.
Established in 2012, IMBIZO has assisted over 200 entrepreneurs with business management skills across Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga . IMBIZO is a result of collaboration between Nedbank, Old Mutual, Mutual & Federal, Masisizane and Wiphold.
The objective of the programme is to reduce unemployment through supporting entrepreneurship. Gauteng entrepreneurs graduated in September while Mpumalanga business owners will be recognised in November.
Debra Marsden, Head of Business Transformation and Public Affairs at Wiphold said “South Africa needs to move beyond talking about entrepreneurship and actually take concrete steps in actively empowering individuals who have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit”.
The IMBIZO Business Acumen programme is a demonstration of our joint commitment to the outcomes which are essential to addressing the country’s challenges such as unemployment and poverty.”
Marsden added that the programme was launched as a continuation of the IMBIZO concept which is also championed by Nedbank, Old Mutual, Mutual & Federal, Masisizane and Wiphold with the aim of igniting economic activity in poor communities in South Africa. “We are returning to Mnquma Local Municipality, where the pilot of the IMBIZO concept was launched and has since grown to be in 17 sites across four provinces, namely; Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Our commitment for igniting the entrepreneurial spirit is what continues to drive the success of the IMBIZO concept which led to the introduction of the IMBIZO Business Acumen Programme.”
Marsden said that there is a need for more initiatives to boost small businesses given that two-thirds of the workforce in South Africa is employed within Small Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).