The Eskom Business Development Foundation, which will be hosting a workshop for entrepreneurs, will be an opportunity to enhance SMME owners’ knowledge and improve their approach to doing business. The two-day seminar is aimed at coaching entrepreneurs in business skills including financial management, digital marketing, branding and business strategies.
According to Mampho Sotshongaye, who has attended previous seminars, the lessons she learned on the importance of marketing and branding have been invaluable. Sotshongaye told Vutivi News that she had also been coached on how to pitch business ideas. Sotshongaye, who is the founder of construction company Golden Rewards 1981 CC, is attending this year’s seminar as the overall winner of the Eskom Development Foundation’s Business Investment Competition in 2020.
“Before I attended the previous seminar, I had never branded my business. But after the seminar I learned to brand my business, which helped me develop my own identity,” she said. “It enabled me to channel all my energy into networking and marketing, which resulted in me being part of a few Western Cape-based projects and a lot more in the pipelines.”
Sotshongaye advised entrepreneurs in the construction space to avoid being dishonest. “Our sector largely lacks compliance and honesty especially when it comes to bidding for tenders, which is something we have to be watchful for if we want to benefit in the long run,” she said. According to Eskom, the first day of the workshop will focus on skills development and will cover financial management, digital marketing, branding and business strategies in order to build a winning team.
Day two will focus on networking and business exposure, and this will include a panel discussion that will focus on building sustainable businesses, as well as financial and non-financial government assistance available to 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,” said Cecil Ramonotsi, the foundation’s CEO.
Through the business connect workshop, Eskom would assist SMMEs by orienting them as entrepreneurs to help them navigate the intricate business environment. The platform would also give participants exposure to business leaders who had gone through similar experiences. The online workshop will be held on 3-4 February.