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Press release: Giving entrepreneurs the necessary capacity

31/05/2022 | By Admin

Giving entrepreneurs the necessary capacity

31 May 2022

Small and medium enterprises are considered the lifeblood of South Africa’s economy.

“Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through their Beyond Advocacy Fund (BAF), have partnered with 22 On Sloane to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary skills through the Capacity Building Programme,” says Olivier Serrao, executive of strategy at BLSA.

He says the BAF represents the South African private sector’s aspiration to move “beyond advocacy” and towards deeper public-private dialogue and cooperation to jointly address strategic socioeconomic challenges facing the country.

22 On Sloane’s Capacity Building Programme’s key offering is the accelerator model – which is delivered through tailored programmes. It aims to support start-up businesses and help integrate them into the mainstream economy by creating opportunities for them to access markets as well as funding. 22 On Sloane aims to assist approximately 100 entrepreneurs through the Capacity Building Programme.

BAF also assists 22 On Sloane in scaling its key offerings across 10 business hubs that have been identified in various townships across Gauteng.

Mduduzi Mpofu, an entrepreneur who recently attended the launch of the Capacity Building Programme, says he gained more knowledge about pitching and curating products relevant to current challenges. He also learned more about sequencing his pre-seed start-up activities to help him build sustainable capacity.

“I walked away with a wealth of information. I have always known what a unique selling proposition is, but because of the session I finally grasped the weight of its value in the business approach and how to use it as a rallying marketing point,” says Mpofu.

Dr Gamuchirai Mutezo, chief operations officer at 22 On Sloane, says: “The funding we have received through BAF has enabled the organisation to hire programme managers who tangibly do all the work, access mentors who run the business clinics that take the entrepreneurs and hub managers through our Business Readiness Levels as success indicators,”

She says the 22 on Sloane team is encouraged by partnerships such as these that further support and decentralise their model. The more business owners participate, the more they gain insights and access to networks.

BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso says: “BLSA and USAID understand that small and medium enterprises are crucial to South Africa’s economy as they fuel economic growth and create employment opportunities. We are committed to the success of start-up companies and will continue to fund 22 on Sloane’s Capacity Building Programmes until 2023.”

For more information, please contact please contact Tumelo Muteme  at tmuteme@businessleadership.org.za