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​The Executive Mayor, Cllr Geoffrey Makhubo, and the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Economic Development, Cllr Lawrence Khoza launched an Opportunity Centre in Eldorado Park yesterday.

The new Opportunity Centre will help residents with information on how to start businesses, compliance advice, business development training, facilitation of access to finance and support to run sustainable businesses. All training will be free of charge and participants will be issued with a certificate of attendance. 

These centres serve as a one-stop-shop for emerging and established SMMEs who require advice and support to grow their businesses. The City has partnered with various government organisations and private companies to provide effective support.

The following standardised services are provided at all Opportunity Centres:
Company registration
General business information and guidance
Business plan assessments, gap analysis and development plans
Training sessions focusing on issues such as financial literacy, marketing sales and operations management
Training on tax compliance
Managed workshops, and use of meeting rooms and internet/Wi-Fi services for business research
Funding research and facilitation, including funding products awareness and guidance on the application process
Assistance with city supplier database and compliance issues
Business idea generation and supply chain training to improve access to markets

In his keynote address at the launch, Mayor Makhubo said: “The promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation, enterprise growth and competitiveness is critical in growing the economy and creating jobs. The spatial pattern of economic growth in the City is also critical. 

“Growth of the economy has been unevenly spread in spatial terms in recent years and it is important to enable residents to access jobs and economic opportunities with ease in their communities.”

MMC Khoza said the centres have created more business opportunities for residents. “There is an immense sense of entrepreneurship in Johannesburg. The city has the responsibility to create a range of quality opportunities to communities and to further motivate the youth, women and people living with disability to take advantage of services offered at various opportunity centres within the City,” said MMC Khoza.

The Department of Economic Development has rolled out eight Opportunity Centres across the City to provide integrated services to support SMMEs in line with the City’s objectives to grow the economy of Johannesburg and create much-needed jobs. 

Eldorado Park is one of the areas in the City with high levels of poverty, unemployment and lack of economic infrastructure and growth to support home-based industries. The establishment of the new centre in the area is to champion the City’s approach towards an inclusive, job-intensive, resilient, competitive, and smart economy that harnesses the potential of all citizens.

All centres currently have a job seekers database, which provides a platform for the unemployed to submit their CVs. The job seekers database can, subject to applicable legislation, be accessed by public and private sector companies.