CAPE TOWN. – The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) has partnered with 1000 Women Trust to facilitate economic empowerment that will give women-owned businesses in the Western Cape access to finance and market, said Alex Qunta, Seda’s Western Cape Provincial manager.
Seda is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) that provides non-financial support to small enterprises and Cooperatives.
Qunta said women-owned business activity tends to fall predominantly in the informal sector and women face the challenge of achieving business growth that warrants entry into the mainstream economy.
This implies that the participation of women in value-adding activities is significantly limited. Poor access to the wider market implies that prospects for sustainable growth of micro-enterprises owned by women are severely limited.
Furthermore, the lack of management training and a lack of sales and marketing skills are concerns that continue to plague women-owned enterprises. The partnership with 1000 Women Trust seeks to unlock and provide solutions to some of these challenges by providing business development support to women in business.
Qunta called on small businesses to visit Seda branches to get more information on Seda’s Business Talk, a program that is designed to assist people who want to start businesses. He added that in the branch one can get more information on Seda Start-up, a training program that gives practical steps to plan, prepare, start and manage a business.
Rise Uniforms, Lunch Box Sanitizers, Comessa Foods, Ziyahlanjwa Laundry, and Fish for Africa are some of the notable women-owned businesses that have benefitted from Seda’s business development services.
The annual statistics survey by Stats SA for 2019, showed that small businesses contributed approximately 22 % of all business turnover in the country. That’s R2.3 trillion. In the same year, it was responsible for creating just over 10 million jobs.
Qunta says he is very positive about 1000 Women Trust’s ability to increasingly generate employment for women and that the partnership with Seda could contribute to even better employment prospects for women and girls.
1000 Women Trust is an organisation that aims to raise awareness around gender-based violence, rape and abuse and mobilise resources. These resources make it possible for the trust to assist women-led organizations with grants and skills development.
1000 Women Trust is also focused on assisting women who have lost their jobs and livelihood during the pandemic, as it is estimated that 2 million women lost their jobs due to lockdown in the past eighteen months.
For more information visit www.seda,org.za
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