In an attempt to solve a lack of financial know-how experienced by small business owners, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) hosted the E-Skills training programme late last year.
The event, split into two sessions, was attended by over 40 business heads and qualifying businesses that received training in effective financial management.
Co-hosted by Hlumisa Business Advisers, the sessions were held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT) Cape Town campus over two days per session.
There, business owners received training in accounting software to make it easier for them to manage their finances.
Margot Willemse of DEDAT, says: “One of the obstacles that often prevent small businesses from taking up procurement opportunities is their inability to produce accurate financial statements, which in turn prevents them not only from implementing effective financial management but from obtaining finance when needed.”
Paul Hobden, head of small business at MWEB, addressed the issue at a major business conference in Khayelitsha in November last year.
He said business owners were still using conservative means of communicating, which largely involved a lot of paperwork. This method was time-consuming. He further said business owners often struggled to catch up with today’s fast-paced methods.
Paper statements were lost or damaged in accidents, landing businesses in unnecessary legal wrangling and profit loss.
“Businesses should upgrade their means of communication; the presence of a computer armed with proper programmes such as the internet, email and others help a lot with marketing and can be cost effective,” he said.
Willemse says the training sessions were important to the business sector and that upon completion of the training, participants were awarded a licensed copy of the accounting software.
Bradley Haupt, of Drip Free Car Care Products, attended the E-skills Training Programme and applauded it on assisting him with his online accounting skills.
Haupt says; “My wife forwarded an email to me which she received through her SAWEN membership. I then made contact with the relevant people who kindly assisted and reserved a place for me on the two day course.”
“We are not all accountants or bookkeepers. Get yourself a good accounting system from day one as it will take time to learn all that it has to offer.”
A third training session for 20 small businesses will be hosted in George in February 2014.
- For more information on the E-Skills Training Programme you can contact [email protected]