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Massmart recognises entrepreneurship course graduates

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Massmart, through its local Supplier Development Programme’s (SDP), today recognised the 33 graduates of their Entrepreneurship Training course.

The programme, a partnership between Massmart and The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), was launched in January 2014 with the aim of equipping the selected SMMEs with vital business foundation skills. Their training for the calendar year covered the areas of finance, human resources, and business strategy.

The inaugural class comprised a combination of SMME suppliers who were either actively trading with Massmart or who showed the potential to trade with formal retail in the future.

“We congratulate the class of 2014 and we recognise our participants’ perseverance and resilience in their studies while managing the unique challenges of running a business. While many entrepreneurs understand their core business, there is always room to learn and improve both through formal classroom training and through peer to peer networking,” says Massmart Supplier Development Lead Sherry-Leigh Singh. “This course offers them the key benefit of holistic exposure to all the strategic facets of running a successful organisation,” added Singh.

Massmart covered the full certificate course costs and in his keynote address at the ceremony, Massmart chairperson Kuseni Dlamini said: “Massmart is proud to be part of a programme that not only empowers entrepreneurs but equips them with the skills to grow their businesses and therefore create jobs, responding to the economic needs of our country.”

Of the importance of entrepreneurship in South Africa, GIBS Enterprise Development Academy Director, Yogavelli Nambiar said; “GIBS is also committed to building the business and leadership skills of entrepreneurs and to this end created the GIBS Enterprise Development Academy. The public sector and big corporates have limited capacity to create new jobs, and the National Development Plan refers to 90% of new jobs having to come from micro, small and medium enterprises by 2030. At the same time, it is commonly known that over 70% of new businesses fail in the first three years.”

The criteria for participation in the programme varied, as explained by Singh; “About 44% of the programme’s participants are women. While the majority of participants are in the manufacturing sector, many are in different stages of the business life-cycle. Some have only one year’s experience in running their businesses while others have several.”

Nambiar added, “If South Africa is to achieve the goal of having the SME sector produce the largest quantity of jobs, we need to create, build and support enterprises that are going to sustain, grow and thrive. Part of this support is providing the entrepreneur with access to business education, mentorship, linking them to capital and new markets, and other resources, which the businesses will benefit from through the 12-month programme.”

The SDP will be running a second class in 2015, this year, with the majority of the participating SMMEs comprising recently listed suppliers to Massmart. “The incoming 2015 class candidates will be comprised of 84% active SMME suppliers to Massmart. A group of the suppliers in the class will benefit from R30 million in approved development funding commitments to their businesses from the SDP,” concluded Singh.


Issued by Brunswick South Africa on behalf of Massmart

Gordon Letsoalo +27 79 510 6127

Andre van Niekerk +2711 502 7424 / +27 76 168 7025


Notes to Editors

About Massmart

Massmart is a managed portfolio of four divisions, each focused on high volume, low margin, low-cost distribution of mainly branded consumer goods for cash, through 376 stores in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

About Massmart’s Supplier Development Programmes

Since its inception in 2011, Massmart’s Supplier Development programme, an investment worth R242m towards developing Massmart’s South African-based small suppliers that are either black-owned, black-empowered or local manufacturers of products continues to make headway and has to date deployed funding to 183 black-owned suppliers to the Group. The fund supports suppliers in agriculture and manufacturing.

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