To encourage participation, so as to address their needs, the Chamber established a 'Small Business Portfolio' within their committee and Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd proposed a project that would address several immediate needs of this sector. The project will:
- Deliver an NQF 4: New Venture Creation Learnership of 10 months to 30 deserving new entrepreneurs in the Greater Kokstad Municipal area.
- Organise a one-on-one Mentorship Programme matching a commercial business person with a new entrepreneur in a structured program.
- Facilitate a Business lecture series for all KCC members, but especially for new entrepreneurs, on a range of business-related topics (to be hosted at the Scientific Roets Learning Centre).
This project aims to address profitability and viability issues while addressing a myriad of business-related legislative and operational issues. A formal Impact Assessment will be conducted over the duration of the project.
The rollout plan for the project is as follows:
- Recruitment of entrepreneurs (advertising in local press, assistance of NAFCOC, assistance of SEDA Kokstad) - November/December 2008.
- Selection of learners for programme - January 2009.
- Notification of successful learners - January 2009.
- Learner Induction - Registration process and contract singing with all learners, welcome and overview of programme for the year, rules and regulations, outputs expected, training schedule discussed, etc. - January 2009.
- Training starts - February 2009 - to end October 2009 - includes: theoretical and practical activities, field-trips, mentorship visits, Business lecture series, assessments, homework assignments, etc.
- Mentor volunteers recruited and Mentorship Programme Workshop held - February / March 2009.
- Business Lecture Series - Schedule and speakers finalized for the year - February / March 2009.
- Field trips - Prospective Schedule developed - March 2009.
- Visit by Barry and Dolly Segal - to be announced.
- Monthly (or Quarterly) reports submitted to The Segal Family Foundation, Services SETA and the Kokstad Chamber of Commerce as required.
- Final assessments and overview of impact of training on small business ventures - November 2009.
- Final administration on learnership - Moderation, learner competencies, finalization of learner data for registration on National Skills Database, production of certificates - November, 2009.
- Award ceremony with all role-players - November, 2009.
The Greater Kokstad Municipal area is located in the southern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Kokstad is a bustling little rural town with a vibrant commercial business sector (generally businesses with less than 10 employees). However, there are limited examples of successful black entrepreneurs in the town. This is mainly due to a lack of networking, business skills, and access to financial resources.
Scientific Roots (PTY) Ltd is a rural development company located in Kokstad that concentrates on the establishment of viable rural enterprises through the provision of consulting engineering services, training, project management, and business mentorship. Since 2002 they have been involved in approximately 70 projects aiming to assist with the development of rural enterprises either by providing the relevant infrastructure, the most appropriate training, or the correct institutional arrangements. They are also a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, a new organization which aims to improve the attractiveness of the town as a business centre through collaboration with the local government authority, the Greater Kokstad Municipality. The Kokstad Chamber of Commerce aims to address the needs of all business sectors in the community (formal and informal), but are unable to address the needs of businesses that fall outside their membership. Through this commitment, Scientific Roots will work with the Kokstad Chamber of Commerce to extend their services to 22 entrepreneurs in the area.
The program will provide formal training in the New Venture Creation Qualification, engage with business leaders of the Kokstad Chamber of Commerce (KCC), and includes a mentorship component.
SEEKING: financial resources.
OFFERING: implementing partners. Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd offers infrastructure, capacity building, and enterprise development services in many rural areas of South Africa. Partners who seek a responsible, professional, accredited, technical and innovative service provider to assist them with their rural development objectives are welcome to contact Scientific Roets to attain their goals. Current projects and fields of expertise are clearly articulated on Scientific Roets website at www.scientificroets.com.