VENTURES: Boost For Township Entrepreneurs
Recent Western Cape Business News
Budding entrepreneurs in Cape Town now have access to the best international training content, thanks to the accreditation of business incubator Bandwidth Barn as a Cisco Entrepreneur Institute training centre. Part of the mandate is to create an additional ten local institutes within an 18 month period.
According to Chris Vermeulen, GM at the Bandwidth Barn, the focus will be to create these local institutes in areas where there is huge potential for entrepreneurism, and a great need for employment. “We have seen how new businesses have flourished with the support of the Bandwidth Barn, and we feel compelled to extend this to areas that need entrepreneurs, both from a services and employment point of view.”
The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is particularly targeted at emerging market countries. It offers a series of workshops made up of media-rich, business-relevant content from a variety of preeminent sources, including Stanford University, Cornell University, and My Own Business Inc. The success of entrepreneurs has significant economic and social benefits for individuals, communities and nations. The Institute fosters innovation, growth, and prosperity by working with successful entrepreneurs who share their expertise with new business owners to help them compete and thrive. Local institutes charge participants a nominal fee to cover the cost of providing the workshops.
During the program, participants discuss strategic ideas ranging from information delivery to the use of Internet technologies to drive business growth. This will assist with the success rate of SMMEs in the country as the primary reason for failure being a lack of understanding of business skills, as well as no understanding of how technology can be utilised to advance business success.
“The content of the Institute’s courses is world-class, offering local entrepreneurs access to some of the best training and thinking available,” says Vermeulen. “This will enhance Bandwidth Barn’s service, as well as open up opportunities for the broader community. It also gives entrepreneurs access to a broad network in the form of other business owners, mentors, partners or distribution channels—a factor critical to the success of any start-up business.”
The accreditation also enables the Bandwidth Barn to extend its network, linking it to other training centres and incubators around the world. “Through this powerful network, we will be more able to develop best practice, while offering our local entrepreneurs a global stage for learning, and potentially their products and services,” says Vermeulen.
“Together, Bandwidth Barn and Cisco can make an impact on the success of entrepreneurial activities in South Africa,” says Bessie Manchu, Cisco Entrepreneur Institute Territory Manager for South Africa. “In a country where SMME’s are the largest contributors to our community, their success is pivotal. With the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, core business skills and knowledge on how to use technology to their advantage is taught to help equip entrepreneurs and create a positive economic and social impact in South African communities.”
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