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Wind Farm transforms survivalist businesses into sustainable SMMEs

Umoya Energy Wind Farm Community Operations Manager Celiwe Mabaso said the closures that happened during Covid-19 were disturbing for the entrepreneurs. Picture: Supplied

Umoya Energy Wind Farm Community Operations Manager Celiwe Mabaso said the closures that happened during Covid-19 were disturbing for the entrepreneurs. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Umoya Energy Wind Farm is helping West Coast entrepreneurs access business opportunities, and transform their survivalist businesses into formal sustainable SMMEs through its Accelerator programme.

After completing the first phase of the programme in 2020, the wind farm was able to continue with the second phase through a partnership with the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), despite the Covid-19 third wave.

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Umoya Energy Wind Farm Community Operations Manager Celiwe Mabaso said the closures that happened during Covid-19 were disturbing for the entrepreneurs, and prompted them to make a conscious decision to focus on turning the threat into an opportunity through the programme.

Mabaso said the 19 participating West Coast entrepreneurs benefited from coaching and mentorship; skills development to improve revenue as well as personal growth as entrepreneurs, and incubation opportunities with a special focus on marketing their business.

Filtane Development youth business-owner Faith Filtane said her business which specialises in building renovations, maintenance and cleaning services, underwent immense hardship as a result of Covid-19 but the SMME programme had assisted greatly in her business recovery.

“The programme has helped me implement various processes that ultimately made Filtane Development more efficient and successful. They have helped me cut unnecessary costs, learn about financial management, marketing on different platforms and increase our client base,” said Filtane.

The youth business-owner said she wanted to assist other youth entrepreneurs on how to navigate the various processes to establish their businesses, as she knew how daunting entering the business world alone, could be.

“My dream is to create an online platform that will enable local entrepreneurs to access new and wider markets, thereby helping to create sustainable growth,” said Filtane.

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Umoya Energy Wind Farm Project Community Operations Officer Veronique Isaacs said: “This programme is designed to establish connection and access for SMMEs beyond the West Coast market, with the intention of increasing opportunities for growth, which includes both private and public sector opportunities.”

Saldanha Bay IDZ spokesperson Carla Bagarette said: "The programme aims to assist local enterprises to move from being survivalist businesses to formal sustainable SMEs, and this is exactly what attracted the SBIDZ to partner with Umoya Energy.

“The Accelerator programme fills the gap of supporting the business owner, with a special focus on marketing their business."

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