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Igniting the entrepreneurial mindset of community-based small business owners

SMME's win at recent Community Enterprises Exhibition as a result of transformative and targeted learning. The event was hosted at the False Bay TVTE College Khayelitsha Campus on 17 October 2019.

Community Entrepreneurship Venture Acceleration Workshops 2019

The failure rate of new small businesses in South Africa is estimated between 70% and 80%. This failure rate is among the highest in the world. Small businesses, especially in the areas of Khayelitsha and Mitchell Plain in the Western Cape are in dire need of quality business development services in order to revitalize their local economic activities.  Economic activity which will reduce the high unemployment and the unacceptably high crime rate.

The CfE/RI chose to engage the communities where the college student population resides. Through the establishment of local entrepreneurs, the students get to see real-time success stories to inspire their personal journeys to entrepreneurship. 

Studies have found that SMME training programmes play a significant role in reducing the failure rate of SMMEs, especially programmes provided in the start-up phase. This resulted to an exciting and pioneering Community Enterprises Exhibition. The exhibition was hosted at the False Bay TVTE College Khayelitsha Campus on 17 October 2019.

The goal: to ignite the human capital and entrepreneurial mind-set of community small business owners. More than 20 external exhibitors such as DTI, SEDA, NYDA, SEFA, Chamber of Commerce, Business Partners, FNB, WRseta, Services Seta, NU PAY, Yoco, Waynes Co., etc. attended the event to support the CfE/RI’s call to ignite and revitalize township small businesses. This platform assisted the township businesses to enhance their visibility and credibility.

Twenty-seven (27) township SMME’s participated in this pioneering event to secure a portion of the R50 000 growth capital, which was sponsored by De Beers. These participants were selected from a pool of SMME’s in Mitchells Plain, Strandfontein, Khayelitsha and Phillipi.

Prior to the exhibition, 6 information sessions were hosted in the communities of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha. Through these information sessions, 44 candidates were selected for training, as they met the entry criteria:

  1. Reside in Khayelitsha, Phillipi, Strandfontein and Mitchells Plain
  2. Business can be informal or formal but must have been operational for 18 months or longer.
  3. Must be South African Citizen
  4. Had to attend 80% of 5 training workshops
  5. Present a revised business model for the Community Enterprises Exhibition and Business Model Canvas Competition

Upon completion of the Entrepreneurial focussed training, 27 of the community enterprises were given the go-ahead to exhibit at the event.

Through the CfE/RI’s strong partnerships, independent auditors were enlisted to adjudicate the enterprises and select the winners. The top 5 business winners were identified:

  • 1st Place (R20,000): Limitless Tuition Pty (Ltd)
  • 2nd Place (R10,000): Khayelitsha Travel
  • 3rd Place (R8,000): Bakers Diary
  • 4th Place (R6,000): Lindoleather
  • 4th Place (R6,000): DMD General Company

SMME’s are the backbone of the economy, but they need both financial and non-financial support to assist them to become resilient and innovative enterprises that will contribute to overcoming the ‘triple challenge’ of inequality, poverty and unemployment in South Africa.

The CfE / RI is excited about making this pioneering event and annual activation, as feedback from the participants wholeheartedly supported the notion. The feel is that more township SMME’s must be exposed to this transformative and targeted learning, as well as financial & non-financial prizes and networking opportunities which are attached to this event.

Article by Abraham Oliver: Programme Manager for False Bay TVET College, Centre for Entrepreneurship / Rapid Incubator

For more information about the Centre for Entrepreneurship / Rapid Incubator, go to 
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