Friday, 21 January 2022: The Eskom Development Foundation (ESDEF) will host a national Business Connect workshop for entrepreneurs from 3-4 February 2022.
The Business Connect workshop is a two-day seminar aimed at coaching entrepreneurs in business skills, while giving them a platform for networking with industry experts and other entrepreneurs. It follows the Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) award ceremony in December where winners in various categories were announced. The workshop will host participants from the 2019, 2020 and 2021 BIC, as well as last year’s winners of the Simama Ranta High School Entrepreneurship Competition.
Day one of the Business Connect workshop will focus on skills development, covering topics such as financial management, digital marketing, branding, and business strategies to build a winning team. Day two will focus on networking and business exposure, where the finalists will be given a platform to exhibit their product offerings. Panel discussions will focus on building sustainable businesses, as well as on the financial and non-financial government assistance available to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
“Access to funding remains a major barrier for small businesses, more so with the unfavourable economic climate from the pandemic that has made investors and financiers more risk-averse over the past two years. Through the Business Connect workshop, Eskom aims to assist SMMEs by orienting them as entrepreneurs to help them navigate the intricate business environment. The platform also gives them networking opportunities as well as exposure to business leaders who have gone through similar experiences,” said Cecil Ramonotsi, ESDEF Chief Executive Officer.
Top industry experts will address entrepreneurs, and representatives from government institutions such as the Department of Small Business Development, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) will form part of a panel discussion on government’s programmes and resources targeting SMMEs.
“Although many funding opportunities are available to the small business sector, the evaluation criteria often disqualify SMMEs from benefitting. The Business Connect workshop provides a platform for engaging in such complexities to ensure that the entrepreneurs become au fait with the lending subtleties, so as to approach the process differently and in a manner that will enable their participation in future,” said Nthato Minyuku, Eskom’s Group Executive for Government and Regulatory Affairs.
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