The University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) hosted its first Supplier Development Training programme in June 2014.
Business owners are painfully aware that sourcing and retaining the correct skills and remaining compliant in an ever changing environment has become a significant challenge. Keeping up to date with procurement and tender requirements is one of the very reasons that business owners are unable to get new contracts and maintain existing ones.
The programme aimed to deliver in-house computer-based training to vendors on the supplier database of UWC and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) with regards to their procurement systems. The University, through the CEI, wants to bring business closer to academia and to use the University as an ecosystem to help maintain businesses.
One of the key strategies for DEDAT (Western Cape Government Department of Economic Development & Tourism), and particularly the Chief Directorate Integrated Economic Development Services (IEDS): Directorate Enterprise Development, was to continue to develop and grow businesses through supplier development.
Supplier development continues to be an efficient mechanism to assist suppliers in terms of obtaining the necessary capacity in order to become and remain competitive.
The stringent procurement requirements faced by many emerging small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) do not allow them to compete against more established businesses.
With UWC’s history of growing and developing leaders in South Africa, the institution has established the CEI which aims to generate the same successful outcomes in the areas of entrepreneurship education, innovation and small business development.
The CEI is promoting their enterprise support programme training as a pilot project with the Western Cape Government.
The exposure to procurement procedures used by small business is the first step towards developing and growing small enterprises within supply chains.
The enterprise support programme aims to create structures that will contribute to the retention of jobs through providing business support and business incubation functions that are geared towards SMME support and youth development, in addition to developing supplier development programmes and providing access to short courses at UWC via the prior learning model.
Celeste Gaskin, owner of Tusk Event Management in Durbanville, said she found the content of the e-Skills programme very useful as it provided her with a lot of insight in certain areas which would enable her to save money for her business.
“Our business is 12 years old and we are still learning new tricks of the trade. The programme taught the participants various ways of saving money by using online tools taught by UWC,” she said.
She mentioned that the programme is useful for improving computer literacy and levels of understanding across age groups.
Raymond Brookes from Brookes Metal Industry based in Blackheath, could not work on a computer before but is now able to you use e-Tools which will assist with his business management.
“There were many aspects of business that I did not rely on the computer to assist with, but now that I am able to understand how these programmes work, it will save me a lot of time and money in the future,” he said.
For more information about the Supplier Development Programme, contact Charleen Duncan on 021 959 9551 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries, contact Aidan van den Heever on 021 959 9566 or via email at email@example.com, or Nicklaus Kruger on 021 959 4233 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.