The Silulo Foundation entrepreneurship programme was launched on Saturday in Khayelitsha.
Business Report was privileged to be invited to the event that was designed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners with the skills and tools they need to succeed in today's competitive market.
The foundation is an extension of Silulo Ulutho Technologies.
The company is a “one-stop” career and business centre that provides all the technology, tools, services, and support to bridge the digital divide.
“We address socioeconomic inequalities in rural communities and townships such as unemployment, poverty, and inequality. The impact we make is enabled by providing accessible infrastructure, a support network and skills development through our community-centered career and business centres,” the company says.
“We address the unemployment of individuals in the community by partnering with educational institutions to upskill and empower them with the necessary skills required for employment.”
The new Silulo Foundation is funding fifty percent of the tuition fee of the entrepreneurship programme. The programme is implemented in partnership with the University of Notre Dame’s Urban Poverty Business Initiative and the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Speaking at the event, United Democratic Movement (UDM) MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, said that government and leadership need to provide the services to foster entrepreneurial growth. Moreover, he argued that the government needs to have an “open door policy” when it comes to supporting small businesses. This will foster development and contribute to a better community.
UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa also spoke to attendees at the @SiluloTraining entrepreneurship event about the challenges faced by the organisation in growing and developing the foundation in a sustainable way. The sentiment was that it has been hard but also rewarding. pic.twitter.com/GGiCcGRGga— Business Report (@busrep) February 18, 2023
Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, also spoke at the event and discussed how fostering entrepreneurship is critical for expanding employment, earning opportunities, and reducing poverty.
Premier @alanwinde was at the launch of the @SiluloTraining foundation and spoke about the impact load shedding is having on businesses failing. He argues that government will not solve the problem. It will be entrepreneurs. pic.twitter.com/2rZxfIHKny— Business Report (@busrep) February 18, 2023
Winde argued that government needs to get out of the way and think more like an entrepreneur.
Winde explained that biggest issue facing small businesses and entrepreneurs is Eskom’s failures and loadshedding. He argues that government will not solve the problem. “It will be entrepreneurs”.
The impact loadshedding is having on small businesses and their sustainability needs to be addressed by government, argues Winde. He knows that many small businesses are being forced to close down due to loadshedding. Programs like the Silulo Foundation will undoubtedly play a role in helping sustain small businesses and also create the entrepreneurs needed to make communities thrive, added Winde.