Following Standard Bank launching its SME Training, Coaching and Mentoring Programme, the first group of 17 SME entrepreneurs participated in a two-day interactive training session held on April 6 and 7.
The latest training forms part of a year-long training, coaching and mentoring programme undertaken by the group to give them sound knowledge and understanding on how to manage their SMEs effectively and sharpen their business management skills and financial acumen.
The participating local SMEs included business people involved in various sectors, namely, renewable energy, law firms, farming production, information technology and accounting, to mention but a few.
“Through using the board-based business simulations, the focus is mainly on giving them the tools to grow their SME businesses by applying due diligence, checking their expenses, building their balance sheet, watching the trends and at the same time generate wealth for themselves,” says the workshop facilitator Anton du Preez.
For those who attended, the training workshop was a worthwhile experience. “It was very enlightening because it made me realise that I was actually running my business with my eyes closed. In fact, this training saved me from closing down and now I feel I need to get back to the basics and re-look my whole business. I am even inspired to take on a new business idea of starting a printing shop in the near future,” says Alvine Samuel who runs a law firm Samuel Legal Practitioners since September last year and an estate agency Tipara Estates since August 2014.
As for Sly Kaitjizemine and his partner Ace Kavari, who are into farming and supplying food to community hostels through their SME business called Owoye Investments cc, the training was a great refresher in making calculated business approaches. “I have gained a lot and this will definitely make a big difference in our business,” said Kaitjizemine.
Sharing the same sentiment, Ester Nasheya who manages a cleaning services SME business Rimota Group, said: “The time has come for me to get back to the drawing board and even take up a course in accounting to boost my business knowledge.”
As part of their journey with Standard Bank, the next step for this group of entrepreneurs is to undergo a mentoring and coaching session with SME Compete. The bank has invested a total of N$750 000 into this year’s SME training programme as part of its corporate social investment initiatives. Every year a group of 25 SMEs will be selected for the programme.