|This is just a quick reminder, in case you missed our first mail, that you are cordially invited to our next BoP Learning Lab session this coming Thursday, the 20th of November from 12h30 till 14h00.
The event is free and open to all, however please confirm your attendance to email address below. Kindly note this event will take place at the Solution Space of the GSB Breakwater campus (see address above).
The importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa has been highlighted by the creation, earlier this year, of a dedicated government department to support it. There is little doubt that support is needed: according to DTI figures, 5 out of 7 new businesses in SA fail in their first year, compared to 1 out of 2 worldwide.
It has long been recognised that SMEs create more employment than larger businesses. Supporting growth and development of SMEs, especially at the lower end of the income scale, could have a significant multiplier effect on poverty alleviation if that support is properly framed. Informal businesses are especially vulnerable and often lack the resources, financial as well as human, to succeed.
The Business Bridge was created 3 years ago to provide exactly such resources through quality business education for virtually no fee.
It achieves this by creating a low cost, scalable skills sharing network of aspirational business owners and professionals. The model is centered around practical classroom sessions facilitated by local business people (corporates, entrepreneurs and business school alumni), who are trained as facilitators and give of their time and skills. Courses are delivered through a network of community based hubs, encouraging the creation of localised business networks which are vital to the success of SMEs.
Business Bridge has recently conducted a Randomised Controlled Trial with the World Bank, London Business School and Jameel Poverty Action Lab. The results show a startling impact on sales, profits, job creation and survival rates. To date, over 1,000 mostly informal SMEs have measurably benefited from this training in the greater Cape Town area.
BB is now seeking to both develop further support structures for SMEs and expand its offering to other parts of South Africa. Please join us in welcoming Mr Tom Parry, CEO of BB, to tell us more about BB’s impact and plans for the future.
BoP Learning Lab
The BoP Learning Lab provides sources of inspiration for Southern African corporates to maximise their socio-economic impact at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP), to initiate and promote inclusive business models.
Find us on www.reciprocity.co.za
With the support of