The Masakhe Business Training for Persons with Disabilities and SMM’s was introduced in December 2022 in partnership with Ethekwini Municipality and will be rolled out in various areas across KwaZulu-Natal.
By Ntandoyenkosi Dlamini, South Coast Herald
Over 100 persons living with disabilities and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) are being given an opportunity to learn more about growing and sustaining their businesses through the Masakhe Business Training programme.
The programme is an initiative by Ithala Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, South African Revenue Services (SARS), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).
According to IDFC Reputation Manager, Sitandiwe Dimba, South Africa registered the highest unemployment rate in Africa in 2023, with around 30 percent of the country’s labour force being unemployed.
Dimba said in the current economic climate small businesses globally have been suffering due to the economic downturn, crushing the dreams of thousands of entrepreneurs.
She said with IDFC’s robust interventions in place, the organisation remains optimistic that the situation can be turned. “IDFC strives to play a catalytic role in stimulating and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of SMMEs and promoting enterprise development in KwaZulu-Natal. While unemployment affects every sector of society, it is more so with persons living with disabilities. In the spirit of leaving no one behind, the aforementioned entities have decided to co-operate to make a sound impact on the lives of persons living with disabilities,” she said.
IDFC Group Chief Executive, Pearl Bengu, said: “The business training comprises presentations and one-on-one consultations on key topics relating to business plan development; supply chain management and SARS compliance for small businesses. The purpose of the programme, which is aligned to rural development, and aimed at providing persons with disabilities with business knowledge to enable them to grow sustainable businesses. This is an important part of IDFC’s function, to effectively boost and support persons with disabilities and SMMEs within the province.”
She added that according to the World Health Organisation, people with disabilities have a far lower chance of participating meaningfully in the labour market and being employed, saying that similar trends have also been observed when it comes to career advancement and job security as they remain the most vulnerable to any upsets in the labour market.
Bengu said the Masakhe Business Training for Persons with Disabilities and SMMEs was introduced in December 2022 in partnership with Ethekwini Municipality and will be rolled out in various areas across KwaZulu-Natal.