The Business Place helps young entrepreneurs in Alexandra get a foot up the ladder, with advice and information on setting up an enterprise, and running it successfully.
WHEN Thapelo Pule started running a business from home in Alexandra, little did she know it would flourish into a professional enterprise.
The Business Place offers young people basic management skillsThe Business Place offers basic management skills to young peoplePule is the owner of Merethetho Productions, an events and entertainment company. “I started it in 2008 without any formal education and experience; as a result I was unable to generate sufficient profit.”
But this changed when she heard about The Business Place, a network that helps people start and grow small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
“Through workshops provided by the organisation, I have learned vital skills such as marketing, project management and basic business management skills.”
Today, local companies, schools and the community turn to her when they are planning a celebration. “I organise corporate events, weddings and graduation ceremonies,” she says. So successful is her company, that she has hired three permanent employees.
Attesting to Pule’s success, the manager of The Business Place, Dumisani Hlatshwayo, says: “She is a hard-working young woman who grabs every opportunity that comes her way – a perfect example for the youth out there.”
Explaining his organisation, he adds: “We also refer young people to relevant places where they can get assistance in whatever information regarding SMME development and growth.”
Philip Bokaba is another success story. He is the owner and founder of Motsethabo Tours. Just two years old, the tour operating company is already competing with some of the best in the industry.
He also attributed his success to The Business Place. “I have established valuable contacts in the tour operating industry, because of the exposure I got from the organisation.”
Motsethabo Tours runs local and national corporate tours.
The Alex Business Place in AlexandraThe Business Place in Alexandra“Stop looking for jobs and create some,” Hlatshwayo says, encouraging young people with ideas to come forward. “We offer workshop training and free consultations through our internal navigators.”
The Business Place was established four years ago by the City with an aim of creating jobs. It also serves as an information centre where SMMEs can get help to expand their services.
Reflecting on the successes of the network, Bokaba says it has empowered a lot of small businesses, especially in Alexandra.
To motivate young entrepreneurs to work harder, the organisation hosts an awards ceremony every year to honour outstanding SMMEs. Hlatshwayo explains: “At this annual ceremony we invite motivational speakers and business people to engage with and motivate our youth.”
The date for this year‘s ceremony has not been confirmed yet.
The organisation offers the following services:
Free consultations and workshops on business management;
Free consultations to help entrepreneurs work out their next steps towards starting or growing their businesses;
Access to business opportunities and linkages;
Relevant business information and resources;
Referrals to quality business development service providers, government resources and financial institutions;
Free internet access for business research and idea generation;
Legal advice; and
Free use of meeting and training rooms.
It also helps market SMMEs by placing them on the City’s business database for available opportunities. Interested people can visit The Business Place at Alexsan Kopano Centre, corner 12th Avenue and Selborne Street, Alexandra or phone 011 822 3306/19.
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