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SMME business owners undergo training
Durban small business entrepreneurs came out in their numbers for a capacity building intervention targeting small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and cooperatives. The event was held at the eThekwini Small Business Development Agency Office on 29 September.

The event created a platform for information sharing on how small businesses can access the market, capacity building as well as product compliance and certification. It was facilitated by Siphingcebo Consulting in partnership with eThekwini Municipality.

Managing Director of Siphongcebo Consulting Nonkululeko Mhlongo-Ngyaxolisa said: “The purpose of the training is to guide and inform business owners on what needs to be done in order to grow their businesses as well as to promote businesses utilising the correct platforms.”

She said compliance is vital for corporate businesses while consumers expect consistency from businesses.

“Quality must be ensured as well as a safe working environment especially for businesses dealing with food and beverages. Entrepreneurs must do product testing for their businesses to obtain an accreditation certificate. If the product and quality system comply with requirements, a permit to apply to the South African Bureau of Standards is issued. Regular product testing is conducted throughout the year,” she said.

Mhlongo-Ngyaxolisa said it was vital for business owners to keep customers informed if there are any changes to a product. This would promote a good relationship, she said.

Founder of a woman’s cooperative, Thulisile Heshu from Inanda spoke on the challenges she and her team faced during Covid-19. Heshu runs a furniture manufacturing business in Hammarsdale.

She said it was difficult to pay business expenses as well as salaries during the lockdown when there was no income. She was however optimistic after the training session, saying she has been empowered to market her company and get it back to what it used to be. Heshu also has plans to open an academy to train the youth. 
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