Women encouraged to apply for Google backed entrepreneurship programme

Published Feb 22, 2023


“47% of South African women are economically inactive, this is according to Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2022. In comparison, 35.6% of their male counterparts are faced with the same reality,” said Dawn Makhubela, Business Advisor at TechnoServe.

One of the most effective ways to get more women to participate and contribute to the economy is through entrepreneurship. Delivering inclusive and sustainable economic growth is imperative in South Africa due to the enduring challenges of income inequality, poverty, and rising unemployment, which disproportionately impact women.

Doing their part to try and narrow the gap, Google.org in partnership with international non profit TechnoServe, working together with FATE Foundation, announced the launch of the Women Entrepreneurship Programme South Africa (WEPSA) to support the growth of women-led businesses and boost the opportunities for employment in South Africa.

“Small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) play an essential role in job creation and economic growth in South Africa, employing more than half of the workforce and making up an incredible 98% of businesses.”

“With the difficult economic environment in the country, however, SMMEs are experiencing more inclusive economy,” said Makhubela.

The WEPSA programme seeks to give this integral part of the economy a boost by supporting 140 women entrepreneurs at the helm of businesses in communities surrounding cities in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and North West provinces.

The one-year pilot will include three months of core training and six months of aftercare.

“The programme aims to help entrepreneurs develop their business and leadership skills, as well as their financial and digital literacy, which will open multiple business opportunities and provide access to finance and markets beyond their immediate reach,” she said.

The businesses selected for the programme will help to sustain existing jobs and create further employment opportunities for others. Over one year, WEPSA aims to assist participating businesses to increase their sales by an average of 30% and support 360 jobs.

Applications have been open since 6 February and will close on 17 March.

What requirements enable the beneficiary to apply for the WEPSA programme?

Recruitment is open to businesses in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and North West areas of influence. Community businesses may submit an application which is assessed by the Enterprise Development Implementation Team.

The application process for WEPSA

● Applications can complete the application form on any of the following digital platforms: website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp & LinkedIn

● Applicants are then shortlisted based on a comparative analysis, as participation is limited to 140 participants

Businesses must meet the following requirements:

● Registered business

● Women-led

● Minimum of three employees (this includes directors)

● Track records in terms of sales and revenue (minimum of R6000 per month)

● Business can be from any sector

What documentation is required for WEPSA?

● Business registration documents

● Owner identity documents

● Proof of residence

● Proof of financial income

● Proof of staff (employee contract or ID copy)

Interested parties can apply here.

[email protected]

IOL Business