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School of Business and Finance Christel House Workshop

UWC’s School of Business and Finance workshop on unemployment to self-employment

The University of the Western Cape’s School of Business and Finance(SBF) conducted a workshop at the Christel House School  in Ottery in September. The workshop focused on Entrepreneurship: unemployment to self-employment.

The SBF partnered with two institutions, namely  the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the Tertiary School in Business Education (TSiBA) in delivering the workshop, aimed at catering for parents who were contemplating starting or had already started their own businesses.

“Our programme for Christel House was designed to be informative regarding new venture creation, and also to those already in business,” explains Clint Davies, a Masters candidate and coordinator at the SBF. “This was a combination of presentations, a few guest speakers, as well as a range of service desks focused on three main areas of business development.”

Those main areas were for business support in start-up phase (SEDA), short course business management programmes (TSiBA), and business diagnosis and executive coaching (SBF).

Around 200 parents attended the workshop, and were able to listen to presentations about a variety of relevant topics, including cash flow management (UWC lecturer Ronald Springfield), calculating pricing (Masters candidate Adeeb Samsodien), and social media marketing (Masters candidate Judy Cache and lecturer Akbar Khalfe).

“Programmes such as these are important for encouraging those who are contemplating starting a business, to take the first step,” Davies says. “We highlighted entrepreneurship, and tried to create a fair atmosphere that was informative and supportive to potential entrepreneurs. And the partnerships with TSiBA and SEDA brought in additional expertise and perspective that proved very useful.”

In addition, two experienced micro-entrepreneurs gave an account of their entrepreneurial lifestyles and talked through their experiences of being self-employed. Johnny Carollissen explained what it’s like to run a cell phone repair and accessory retail shop, with pine furniture manufacturer Innocent Khanyile doing the same for his trade.

Service desks were also available for advice and information on starting and managing a business, and parents were able to visit the various help-desks and receive advice and information relevant to their own needs.

“The day went well. Our partners at TSiBA and SEDA reported a very good turn-out at their service desks that was at times overwhelming – in this case, a good thing – and the feedback we received from the school and the parents who attended was positive and encouraging,” notes Davies. “We hope to have more such community outreach programmes in future.”