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City fosters entrepreneurial culture through seminars
Women empowerment seminar​
It’s all systems go for the women empowerment seminar, where influential speakers will explain in detail what it means to be ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world’. 

The Women Economic Empowerment Seminar is set to take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 31 March from 11am. The speakers list features Ntsiki Biyela, Director of Aslina Wines, Zibu MaSotobe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zobuhle Financial Fitness and Amanda Dambuza, CEO of Uyandiswa who will be unpacking the topic of women in leadership.  

Other discussions to be facilitated on the day will be Health and Wellness to be led by Dr Ziphozenkosi Nzimande as well as Beauty and Style to be headlined by Dr Nokubonga Khoza. 

Everyone is encouraged to join the conversation via Zoom by typing the Zoom ID: 978 6515 9676 and password: 924031, or by watching LIVE on the Durban Business Fair Facebook page.

Meanwhile, as part of the Municipality’s Women Economic Empowerment programme, a total of 40 emerging entrepreneurs received six-days of intensive business skills training to foster innovation during the Empretec-entrepreneurial programme held at the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) offices in Johannes Nkosi Street from 15 to 20 March. 
Empretec is a flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which inspires entrepreneurship. SEDA is in partnership with UNCTAD to train aspiring entrepreneurs based on the unique Harvard University methodology focusing on a behavioural approach to entrepreneurship.

One of the Empretec coaches, Lindiwe Boucher said they divided the group into two groups and provided theory and practical learnings.

Some of the topics covered during the training included, among others, evaluating entrepreneurial competencies such as opportunity seeking, persistence, goal setting, risk taking, fulfilling commitments and systematic planning for participants.

“We further took the participants step by step on the business plan checklist from business description to the end, to pricing and financial management,” said Boucher.

The workshop also dealt with how to grow or start a business in a challenging environment under the “new normal” of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pam Taylor from Cato Manor, owner of Doll's Kitchen said the training came at the right time when they are desperate to grow their businesses due to Covid-19 implications.

“I learnt and gained so much during this period,” she said,
Taylor said she identified barcoding, branding and agro-processing as areas of further training when she completed the gap analysis forms at the end of the programme.

“I make atchar and bake and have been approaching potential big companies that I can supply who said my products need barcodes and to be branded to qualify to be on their shelves.”

Deputy Head of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, Nonkululeko Mthembu said the workshop is part of a series of activities hosted by eThekwini Municipality to celebrate women’s role through empowerment during March, which is commemorated globally as Women’s Month.

Mthembu said this particular programme made the participants realise that they have sustainable support structures among themselves and government to build innovative and competitive businesses and build mutually beneficial linkages amongst them.

“The expectation is that they now have the right competencies to build and manage their businesses. Some of the participants were really start-ups. The experiential part of the training gave them a guidance towards the right direction. For instance, they pitched their business plans to a panel comprised of members from SEDA National, Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry members as well as Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit executives. It was an intense exercise that also helped us to identify those needing further assistance to set up their businesses or assist in charting a growth path for existing ones,” explained Mthembu.
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