An entrepreneur asks a question during Ithala’s My Business Indaba roadshow in Durban last week.
Durban - Ithala’s My Business Indaba roadshows, which seek to stimulate entrepreneurship with a special focus on youth and woman empowerment, started in Durban last week.

The roadshow, which is being hosted in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality Business Support unit and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, was held over two days at Durban’s Botanic Gardens Hall.

Budding entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to gather information from organisations that cover issues facing small businesses.

The event included presentations from various stakeholders in the SMME sector.

Business owners had the chance to interact and direct their questions to representatives from the South African Revenue Service, National Youth Development Agency, Small Enterprise Development Agency, Innovate Durban and Ithala Soc Limited, among others in the small business development arena.

Ithala said the business clinics would be rolled out to various communities, offering inspirational talks, advice and opportunities for youth, women, those in business and those who aspire to get into business.

The roadshows will be in eMpendle, eDumbe, Vryheid, Mbazwane, Mtubatuba, Kokstad, Inanda, KwaMashu and Ntuzuma.

The “My Business Indaba” roadshows brings together Ithala’s three main empowerment programmes designed for SMME development in KwaZulu-Natal: Imbokodo Iyazenzela Women in SMME Workshops , a provincial women in SMME’s development programme; Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business Competition, which aims to promote entrepreneurship and skills development among the youth; and Siyasebenza Entrepreneur Development Workshop, a platform for SMMEs to interact with stakeholders in SMME development.

Ithala CSI co-ordinator Andile Mabaso said: “The youth needs to stand up and take charge, lead the way to solving their own problems in a way that resonates with them, through guidance from programmes such as Inkunz’isematholeni which rewards the winner with R200 000 in business support.”

The Inkunz’isematholeni competition is open for entries until Sep- tember 30.  

Gugu Mpongose, from Black Tie media and communications who attended the indaba, had seen a Facebook ad for the event and encouraged her friends to attend.

“Sharing information and networking leads to greater success because we are stronger as a whole rather than as individuals,” Mpongose said.

Minenhle Mkhize, who specialises in décor, catering, and events planning, said she learnt the importance of using what resources one had to build one’s business.

“People do not lack resources but resourcefulness. There are many organisations who want to help people grow their businesses and people should take advantage of that,” said Mkhize.

The Mercury