Workshop offers helping hand to business owners

STAFF REPORTER

The City’s economic development department has been helping small and medium business owners to start up their businesses and guide owners to ensure their businesses are sustainable.

To this end, a micro-enterprise workshop was held on Wednesday May 25 in Kraaifontein. The session attracted 50 micro-enterprise owners, who posed questions on the challenges they face.

According to mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, Garreth Bloor, many start-up businesses tend to fail due to a lack of knowledge on the part of the business owner, or a lack of support from business people who have “risen through the ranks” and learnt how to manage and grow their businesses effectively.

At the workshop, the discussion focused on how to successfully manage business finances, alternative payment methods and how to register on the City’s vendor database to do business with the City, among a number of other general business management questions.

“We have committed to creating economic opportunities. I must commend the various individuals for taking that first step to start their own business. But as a city, we would all be failing these individuals if we didn’t work with them to ensure their success. In this tough economic climate, with shrinking formal employment opportunities, we encourage individuals to become entrepreneurs,” said Mr Bloor.

Being able to access basic business skills development and having access to information and support organisations were among the primary topics.

Nedbank representatives offered financial advice. The local area economic development unit and the business support and supplier development unit from the City’s economic development department gave further pointers on the assistance and services provided to small businesses and informal traders.

As a result of the workshop, participants made plans to start a business forum or association to keep the momentum going for future interactive meetings.

“This consideration by the business community must be lauded as it is a step in the right direction. I encourage local business people to support each other in order to create economic growth, a stronger business community and local economy. My message to entrepreneurs is to not be afraid to ask for help. It is available,” said Mr Bloor.