By Jolandi Snyders, Senior Business Development Manager at The Hope Factory
Most small business owners would agree that growing their business is both their biggest desire and biggest struggle at the same time. The Hope Factory would like to propose that entrepreneurial skills development is crucial in improving business operations, which could lead to business growth. As stated by McKinsey & Company in his recent research study, The nine traits of future-ready companies, “Accelerating learning is one of the most important organizational factors in business growth, and a crucial step to being ‘future-ready’.
Research conducted by the Seed Academy indicated that despite possessing a post-matric qualification, many entrepreneurs indicated that “they require education specific to the practicalities of running a business, such as marketing support and business planning”. Even more so for those entrepreneurs who were unable to complete a matric, receiving entrepreneurial skills could be vital towards starting and operating a successful small business.
Let us chat about two specific and identified skills gaps
Research indicates that there are common skills gaps evident in most business owners’ in particular strong financial skills in addition to innovative marketing skills which links strongly to two of the greatest struggles in business growth namely, access to funding and access to markets. You often only realize what you do not know when you start learning new things.
Mr Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training stated that “Entrepreneurial education and skills development whether formal or informal, applied or observational, is imperative in building the competencies and capabilities of the SMME sector, entrepreneurs and cooperatives.”
The Hope Factory is part of the Learning and Development division of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and we support this sentiment. We offer both formal (accredited) and informal (non-accredited) skills training as a key component of our entrepreneurial development programmes. To this effect, The Hope Factory is registered with Services SETA as an accredited training provider for the New Venture Creation Skills Programme at both NQF level 2 and 4. Not only does this provide an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to receive accredited training that will obtain them credits towards a full qualification, it also is a platform through which Corporate South Africa can support small business development.
The B-BBEE codes, Skills Development element, allows companies to offer training opportunities for black (Coloured, African and Indian) unemployed South Africans. Through a Category E, accredited Short Skills Programme entrepreneurs can be trained on fundamental skills needed. Corporate South Africa in this manner contributes to empowering South Africans through educating them on business principles which will enable them to generate income, grow business turnover and create economic growth. Not only does this create socio-economic impact, but it also scores points on a company’s B-BBEE Scorecard.
At The Hope Factory, we have identified that structured entrepreneurial skills development makes a measurable impact on the success of a small business owner. Could entrepreneurial skills development be the missing link in creating lasting sustainable small businesses in South Africa?
Partner with The Hope Factory to create socio-economic impact through entrepreneurial skills development through your B-BBEE Scorecard implementation.
Media contact: Kelly Sin Hidge