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Contractor Academy helps 2015 Eskom enterprise winner improve his skills
Friday, 17 February 2017:  Mamapo Chemicals owner, Ezekiel Madigoe, will be awarded a certificate next month after successfully completing the Eskom Contractor Academy course. Madigoe learned about the academy when his company competed and won the overall prize in the Eskom Development Foundation Business Investment Competition in 2015.
“Being a believer in continuous learning and self-improvement, when I heard about the academy, enrolling for it was an obvious next step for me,” says Madigoe. His company, based in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, was established in 2012. They manufacturer and distribute a range of industrial and household chemicals such as degreasers, laundry and dish-washing liquids. They also recently started manufacturing animal feed and fertilisers and providing waste management services.
The Contractor Academy is the Eskom Development Foundation’s programme to equip small business owners and emerging entrepreneurs with the necessary skills required to build sustainable businesses. It is offered to contractors and suppliers wishing to improve their skills in project and financial management, entrepreneurship, legislation and technical acumen.
Madigoe says he and his 34 employees have been struggling to secure long-term and major contracts and his participation in the academy will go a long way towards helping them change that. He was inspired by the success stories of some of the academy’s previous students.
“The academy has made a huge impact in many entrepreneurs’ lives, including mine, and I’m already seeing its benefits. It is probably the best training I have ever received as an entrepreneur. The skills I’ve gained will help me better manage my business by putting good systems in place. I particularly learned a lot in the project, safety, health and financial management and employee wellness modules,” enthuses Madigoe.
The course, which combines both theoretical and practical work, is covered over eight months and students attend lectures for a week every month. Eskom believes that by empowering small businesses and helping them to become profitable, the country can start addressing its socio-economic challenges and start seeing a difference.
Eskom Development Foundation acting CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, says the organisation is committed to stimulating economic growth by promoting entrepreneurship among South Africans, especially the youth, so that they can to create jobs. “With our high unemployment rate and start-ups that fail within three years of existence, initiatives such as the Contractor Academy become major catalysts of meaningful change,” affirms Ramonotsi.