Enterprise Development

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The Enterprise Development division was added to the Zimele programme as Self Help Group members began to develop their commercial potential and became ready to start new or grow existing businesses. We began in January 2013 with providing training to the existing SHG members, the craft groups as well as the co-operatives. After an 8-week Basic Business course, the ladies are supported and assisted with selling their produce at local farmers’ markets or market outlets. This experience encourages them to produce high quality, mass quantities of appropriate product.

The outcome of this training also enables Zimele staff to determine the level and future needs in Business Training. After this first 8-week course we are able to compile a profile on the ladies who have been trained, including factors like the next level of training needed (Level 0 or Level 2), and a record of personal and business earnings that are vital in assessing the progress of training. This helps us to address the vastly different levels of the individual ladies, and while not everyone is literate or has a head for business, we try to equip them with the necessary skills for their day-to-day business activities.

It is also important to grow their existing businesses through mentoring and related training, as well as identifying the future training needs for the many community or individual businesses.

We continue to expose our programme to the Clusters to encourage the ladies to identify SHGs that they feel need guidance or are at a level where they feel ready to form new businesses. At the same time we continue to focus on strengthening existing businesses and making the community ladies aware of new marketing/retail opportunities, including trade shows, market days, Christmas markets etc.

Another aspect that we focus on, apart from Business and Financial training, is general Financial Literacy. This is very important as none of our beneficiaries has ever been exposed to understanding how money works in a broader context. Zimele’s Financial Literacy training focuses on developing skills and knowledge that enable an individual to make informed and effective decisions about using their usually limited financial resources.

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South African-based donors will score points in terms of socio-economic development and skills and enterprise development for BEE ratings.

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