BUSINESS: USB Launches Small Business Academy
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The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) has launched its USB Small Business Academy (SBA). The SBA is in line with the business school’s social engagement philosophy and is aimed at training and supporting small business owners within the Western Cape’s townships.
Professor Russel Botman, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Stellenbosch University (SU), who spoke at the event, says the SBA’s goal is not only to make a real difference to the lives of up-and-coming entrepreneurs, but also to support South Africa’s vital SMME sector, via the development of practical skills and the provision of much-needed training.
“The USB is facing a new challenge, which is to sustain impact as a 21st century business school. The SBA is part of this challenge and by focusing on the SMME sector, we can ensure that entrepreneurship is of the kind that is not only interested in self-enrichment, but that helps us as a country to bridge the divide between rich and poor, black and white, underdeveloped and developed,” says Botman.
At the event, the USB also recognised two leading South African businessmen, awarding Will Coetsee the USB Social Impact Leader Award and the USB Alumnus of the Year to Francois Groepe, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank.
According to Professor John Powell, director of the USB, the Social Impact Award is intended to recognise the efforts of someone who has made an impact in the South African or African social environment. He says that in order to be a socially relevant business school, the USB has created a front-end, the USB Social Impact Initiative, to drive the collective social-engagement efforts of the USB, which also ties in with Stellenbosch University's Hope Project.
“Coetsee has been responsible for the micro-revolution of the Mogalakwena Craft Art in the Limpopo Province. His leadership has uplifted the communities in the area and we are proud to award him the Social Impact Leader Award,” says Powell. The aim at Mogalakwena Craft Art is to create an environment that stimulates sustainability of cultures and resources and inspires continuous improvement on many levels.
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