Vuka Mentorship Programme creates wider skills base for SA: iLIVE
While Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) play a central role in the dynamics of our economy, the emergence of small world class businesses is currently being stifled by a lack of knowledge and resources on the part of new entrepreneurs. Sharon Reed, who is responsible for The Vuka Mentorship Programme™, explains how this dynamic initiative is turning the situation around.
More than ever before, SMMEs provide a crucial cog in the South African economy. This assertion is supported by statistics, with the African Journal of Business Management noting that SMMEs contribute an estimated 40% of South Africa’s gross domestic product, and employ more than half of the private sector workforce.
However, while there is so much promise in this sector, there are equally high risks as approximately 40% of new businesses fail within their first year of establishment. Owing to this, there is an urgent need for a mechanism in which new business owners can be taught basic principles of business, and ultimately be brought towards financial independence.
The structured enterprise development approach of The Vuka Mentorship Programme has proven that by providing entrepreneurs with the tools to create and sustain long term businesses, this current state of affairs can be swiftly turned around. Mentoring these entrepreneurs not only assists in growing the supplier and skills base of corporate companies, but also stimulates job creation and a thriving economy.
The Vuka Mentorship Programme™ has been achieving these results since February 2010, when it was verified by Empowerdex. The Programme was created by Neosho119 to formalise mentorship for corporate and government associates.
I personally designed and developed the Programme, having spent many years informally mentoring entrepreneurs in the township and rural areas of South Africa. We have already achieved great success and have furthered the business careers of a number of entrepreneurs by working with partners such as Nedbank and Gauteng Province.
Our research has shown that our measured, structured and audited approach is helping corporate companies to develop their supply chain, by accelerating the financial and operational independence as well as the sustainability of our beneficiaries.
Entrepreneurs who have already undergone the mentoring process provided by the Programme have been equipped with the skills to build sustainable and impactful businesses.
A pertinent example is Reatile Mokweng, an entrepreneur who says that the lessons learnt from the Programme are positively aiding her business development by shifting her fundamental business mindset, and she is now striving to create a sustainable enterprise that can generate income for the foreseeable future. Reatile also noted that she is able to implement a better business plan by focusing on a solid idea, and pursuing it from start to finish.
This sort of feedback provides credence to the Programme’s impact, and proves that we are achieving our goal of going beyond mentorship, by ensuring that entrepreneurs are conscious of what is required to become a successful business person.
Ultimately, there are many other Reatiles in South Africa who can gain similar benefit from participation in The Vuka Mentorship Programme™. Their involvement will help these entrepreneurs to become more focused in their business practices, and ensure that their goals and dreams become a tangible reality.