The programme offers soft skills development, mentorship, and coaching. Photo: Supplied
The programme offers soft skills development, mentorship, and coaching. Photo: Supplied
Ithala Development Finance Corporation and Cutting Edge Business Solutions have joined forces to mentor female entrepreneur. Photo: Supplied.
Ithala Development Finance Corporation and Cutting Edge Business Solutions have joined forces to mentor female entrepreneur. Photo: Supplied.
DURBAN - Ithala Development Finance Corporation and Cutting Edge Business Solutions have joined forces to provide soft skills training, coaching and mentorship.

This mentorship programme will be for Ithala's Top 20 nominees in the "Imbokodo Iyazenzela" Women in SMMEs Awards 2016. 

According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor revealed that the typical South African entrepreneur is male and between the ages 25 and 44. While the number of female entrepreneurs is increasing and they are starting businesses that were previously dominated by men. 

The Small Enterprise Development Agency noted that 72% of micro-enterprises and 40% of small enterprises are currently owned by women. 

The South African government has made the advancement of women and youth in business a priority. The have done this through various initiatives including policies, preferential funding schemes and targeted support. 

According to the Real State of Entrepreurship Survey 2017, the gap in entrepreneurial participation between female and male entrepreneurs is narrowing and might indicate that these initiatives and other similar initiatives have started to bear fruit. 

Sithandiwe Dimba, corporate social investment co-ordinator said that statistics point to the need for development agencies like Ithala to lead the way in advancing women in th business sector. 

Zandile Nkalai is a mentor from Cutting Edge Business Solutions. She said she was proud to be a part of a company that was serious about mentorship and operated with utmost professionalism.

Nkalai, who is also an entrepreneur, has coached women from diverse backgrounds to improve their communication and networking skills. She also encourages the people that she mentors to do tasks that are out of their comfort zone. 

According to Nkalai several mentees were encouraged to take a firm leadership role in their businesses. 

Ithala will host the 2017 "Imbokodo Iyazenzela" Women in SMMEs awards in October. The awards will acknowledge dynamic women making a positive impact in their communities on a public platform. 

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE