Two months after the launch of the Bootcamp to Boardroom programme to assist local start-ups in Cape Town, the Entrepreneur’s Organisation (EO) has made a call to black local entrepreneurs to join them.
The nine-month programme will be run in collaboration with EO Diversity Chair and local entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani, Over the Rainbow Foundation and Further, an organisation which focuses on entrepreneurial growth, support, and sustainability.
In a bid to bridge the divide between the formal and informal business sectors, members of the EO spent the day with 40 of Khayelitsha’s top township entrepreneurs last Wednesday.
Their aim was to get to know about their business experiences, challenges and find solutions to the problems.
The day started with the members visiting small businesses in different parts of the townships. Mr Rani said diversity and inclusion could have a positive impact on growing emerging and small businesses.
“This is about connection, and networking. We are here to reach out to different businesses. Today is the day to learn how they have run their businesses. But more than anything, we want to assist their businesses. It is about mentorship, connections, exposure and unlocking opportunities,” he said
The non-profit organisation offers peer-to-peer networking opportunities for entrepreneurs across South Africa and internationally, and has also launched an initiative to support young entrepreneurs as they navigate the first three years of their business, which are often among the hardest.
Mr Rani said the EO Bootcamp to Boardroom programme will offer young entrepreneurs training and mentorship as well as connect them with business leaders.
Explaining how the session was run, the organisation’s president, Elian Wiener, said: “We put people in groups and they come up with challenges. They open up and bring solutions. We thought, let’s come to Khayelitsha, see the business and find out how they run them.”
Speaking at the event and detailing how he started his business, Mfuleni’s Akhona Ngxongxela of Supreme Burgers and Pizza, said regardless of crime, he had managed to start up his business.
“Entrepreneurialism is a solution for this country. Regardless of crimes we still survive because we believe. I hope this day will help us grow,” he said.