Building capacity in the SMME sector

Business Skills for South Africa

PwC wins Forging Enterprise 2015 award

PwC and the National Industrial Chamber (NIC) walked away with a small business promotion pioneer award at the recent Forging Enterprise National Small Business Conference 2015 held in Cape Town. NIC and PwC, which has been supporting BSSA financially since its inception in 1994, won the award in the category Business Skills Training.

The international conference marked 20 years of small business promotion in South Africa - two decades after former President Nelson Mandela hosted his first President's Conference on Small Business. Led by Osiba Management, it was hosted alongside the 11th annual meeting and forum of the International Network for Small and Medium Enterprises (INSME), the first INSME conference to be held in Africa.

The awards were presented to institutions that have made a significant contribution to small business promotion in South Africa both before and after 1995.

According to the citation accompanying the Business Skills Training award, PwC (then Coopers & Lybrand) had identified a programme for the training of small businesses in the UK in 1992, which it brought to South Africa under licence of HMSO, adapted for local conditions and starting using for training.

BSSA was established as a dedicated business skills training organisation to deliver the training. Since those early days, a network of around 60 independent trainers have been trained on BSSA methodology and given opportunities to deliver the programme nationally. Over the years 45 000 SMMEs and 2 000 business advisers have been trained.

PwC has since 2007 run an annual programme targeting rural women in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and non-urban areas of Gauteng. The Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative has so far assisted around 1 150 women. BSSA has delivered this training.

Through partnership with aid agencies such as the then InWent and USAID, newer materials have been developed over the years to meet specific needs, for example business ethics, managing HIV/Aids in a small business, export readiness, franchising and doing business with government. Programmes for training business advisers have also been developed.

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Enterprise development is one of the seven elements of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and carries 15 points on the BBBEE score card. Offering training to small enterprises has been BSSA’s core business since 1992.

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