University of Stellenbosch Business School in Tygervalley will host the Small Business Academy programme awards ceremony on 4 December for small businesses operating in previously disadvantaged communities of the Greater Cape Town who successfully completed the programme. Image: USB.com

CAPE TOWN – The top business award will go to a female, chosen from among several entrepreneurs who completed the Small Business Academy (SBA) programme, at University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), according to a statement from the institution. 

Township entrepreneurs operating in previously disadvantaged communities of the Greater Cape Town who successfully completed the programme will receive their awards at the year-end ceremony on December 4 at the USB in Tygervalley on Thursday.

“We can't say who will be receiving as yet but the top business award will be going to a female who is passionate about upskilling and uplifting the community with her skill and she operates in a creative environment,” the statement said.

“All participating small businesses will receive their awards on the afternoon including the top student overall, the best business plan and the business with the most potential.”

The university says that the aim of the programme is to promote the sustainability of small businesses with business education and includes a mentorship programme with MBA graduates who are matched to each participant.  

The institution says that private and public sector support is vital for small businesses, especially in townships, as they make a great contribution to the economy.

Without this support, the businesses will remain "survivalist". Growing these businesses will also make a significant contribution in alleviating poverty.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and the Banking Association of South Africa research over the past two years shows that small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) are key drivers of economic growth, innovation and job creation. 

Six million small businesses in the country create more than 11 million job opportunities and the SMME sector is estimated to contribute between 35 percent to 45 percent and 50 percent to 60 percent toward gross domestic product (GDP), the research shows.

But not all SMMEs survive their first two years with typical hindrances including their inability to produce an acceptable business plan. Research shows that these businesses lack good market research, a viable business idea and access to vibrant markets. 

The university says that business education is fundamental to sustain these small business owners and education providers and corporate need to step-up their involvement to share their knowledge and skill sets.

African News Agency (ANA)