DougWalker.jpgAbsa bank, in partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, launched a business skills programme in June 2016 to equip small suppliers with the necessary skills and knowledge to grow and sustain their businesses.

The two-day programme aims to reach at least 1 000 small suppliers and, will run across the province until December 2016, says Doug Walker, Managing Executive for Absa Western Cape.

The training facilitated by Absa includes:

• key elements of entrepreneurship and business strategy;
• effective approaches to marketing a business;
• operations strategy and planning; and
• core basic financial management and human resource practice.

SMME owners should be registered, operate a business within the Western Cape and have a valid BEE certificate in order to participate in this programme.

The accredited business skills programme will empower the 1 000 SMMEs with 45 credits towards a NQF level 4 qualification.

“Absa recognises the vital role small suppliers play in economic growth and job creation and is delighted to be partner with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape SMME project. We also recognise that small suppliers need more than just funding to succeed – they face other challenges and experience a high failure rate owed to lack of business management and financial skills,” says Walker.

“We believe in the philosophy of ‘Shared Growth’, through which we aim to use our assets and resources to grow and develop the societies where we operate while growing our business.”

Absa’s Shared Growth strategy focuses on three priority areas, namely: education and skills, financial inclusion and enterprise development.

According to Walker, the concept of Shared Growth recognises that as Absa grows, society prospers, and as society prospers, Absa grows.

He added that “this theme of reciprocity is critical if we are to succeed. We need to harness the potential of our people, our innovation and our scale to contribute to solving some of the challenges we face in our communities and government. Absa’s involvement is part of our commitment to support SMMEs in South Africa and help them reach their true potential”.

“It is through unlocking this potential that we will boost job creation, achieve Shared Growth and play our part in building a South Africa that is better than we found it, ” concluded Walker.