Demand for business academy grows fast | Advertising Feature | Small Business Connect

Thembi Tsotetsi

The University of Stellenbosch Business School’s Small Business Academy is moving to Mitchell’s Plain later this year. This emerged at the first Ekasi Business Network held at Silulo Ulutho Technologies’ head office in Khayelitsha.

The move is a result of the success of the academy’s first business development programme, which saw more than a dozen Khayelitsha entrepreneurs graduate in November 2013.

Speaking at the networking event, Thembi Tsotetsi explained that she was able to expand her business by acquiring a business qualification through a 9-month entrepreneurial course offered by the academy.

She co-runs Kaltsha Glass, a 24-hour mobile glass-fitting service with her husband, Unathi Tsotetsi.

Today, the business has a much larger demand from customers and has been exposed to other parts of Cape Town.

She shared her story with about 50 other small business owners.

The academy offers training in business planning, administration, business expansion and marketing through intense five-day classes and workshops.

The academy was founded by the university in 2012, enjoys support from corporate stakeholders and is recognised by the Western Cape Provincial Government.

Last year, Tsotetsi was named the top achiever at the academy’s first roll out of training and mentoring.

“I read about the academy in a local community newspaper, but I was reluctant to apply because I’m a wife with a lot of family responsibilities,” she says.

However, with her husband’s support, she sent in her application and survived a strict selection process that saw her compete for entry with more than 100 business owners.

The course is limited to only 20 students.

Tsotetsi says her new qualification has opened doors for her enterprise – its client base has grown and it is ready to take on more business. The Ekasi Business Network was created in 2011 by entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani with the support of the Western Cape Government Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) and provides local entrepreneurs with business training and networking opportunities. It now supports the academy.

Edith Kennedy, the academy’s public relations manager, says that, following the first graduation of last year’s participants, Mitchell’s Plain business owners are now also interested in the training.

Participants must be older than 25 years, and their business must have existed for at least 24 months and be based in either Khayelitsha or Mitchell’s Plain.

  • Please call Lizelle Kannemeyer (Mitchell’s Plain) on 021 918 4212 or Anele Ndiki (Khayelitsha) on 021 918 4379 for more information.