Open Africa in partnership with Fetola, a team of enterprise development professionals focused on the acceleration of small & growing businesses (SGBs), especially those owned by black women, youth and rural entrepreneurs, will be rolling out a dynamic skills training programme for rural entrepreneurs across eight self-drive travel routes in South Africa. These practical interventions form part of a three year Sustainable Tourism Enterprise Programme (STEP), a project funded by the European Union (EU), Absa and the Embassy of Finland.
The travel routes form part of a network managed by Open Africa, a social enterprise that works with rural entrepreneurs to revitalise their communities using tourism as an economic platform. By maximising their collective potential, these entrepreneurs will create opportunities for economic growth within their communities. The practical skills-training workshops form part of the first step in the Enterprise Development (ED) component of the programme.
Fetola will kick off the programme with a series of high-impact two-day workshops focused on strategic planning and vision setting across the eight routes, which are located in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Limpopo and North West provinces. “The Vision sessions will challenge and inspire participants to review their personal and business vision, as well as establish clear organisational goals and objectives. These are not theoretical exercises, but rather practical, immediately implementable tools and lessons that the entrepreneurs can use as soon as they step back into their businesses,” explains Catherine Wijnberg, Fetola MD.
“At the end of each workshop, local businesses will have a clear 12-month action-based strategic plan, their company goals and objectives set for the next three years, a refined and enhanced company vision statement and a range of other tools, templates and resources at their disposal,” adds Wijnberg.
Some of the tourism routes will also be involved in further workshops that address costing and pricing and sales and marketing. “We have tried to be as responsive as possible, by providing very targeted training in areas that our route members have indicated that they tend to struggle with. The primary goal of this programme is to help these businesses thrive and grow,” explains Francois Viljoen, Managing Director of Open Africa.
The second element of the ED programme addresses the shortage of support structures for these largely rurally located businesses through a mentorship programme. Open Africa is establishing a network of experienced business mentors that will improve the ability of participants to manage their businesses sustainably and in turn, increase their capacity to provide employment and income for local people.
The workshops will take place across South Africa from September 2016 through to April 2017 in various towns throughout the five identified provinces.