By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – The incubation centre of Maluti TVET College – an institution that prides itself with vocational training and skills development – hosted ABSA and other key stakeholders who addressed prospective entrepreneurs about offers available at ABSA.
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (CfERI) is home to a handful of Maluti TVET college’s aspiring entrepreneurs who are learning skills and developing products that they can sell and introduce to the market while being trained and developed as entrepreneurs.
The centre manager at CfERI, Thandeka Mahlatjie, had this to say when addressing the audience.
“CfERI is a part of Maluti TVET college that trains and develops entrepreneurs. My incubates are all very talented individuals who are learning skills such as welding, carpentry or craftsmanship. Instead of just teaching them a skill, the centre allows them to create their own products which must be of a good quality and standard so that they can be able to produce these items to enter the local market of Maluti-a-Phofung.”
According to Thys Tekela who is from the enterprise development division of ABSA, the bank offers its clients more than just a bank account. ABSA has an enterprise development division that aims to take startup businesses to the next level.
“At ABSA we try to understand what the challenges of small businesses are so that we can help them to get to the next level not only through financial support but also through business development which also includes access to the market.
“Historically people are very intimidated by banks, but we are here today to try and change that perception so that entrepreneurs can know that we are here to support them in their journey to grow their business,” Tekela said.
David Uithaler is part of CFERI, and creates functional decorative items such as side lamps and jewellery out of recycled materials.
“I use recycled materials like plastic and scrap metal to make decorative and functional products like side lamps. While I was living in Uganda, I was inspired by a lady who was making jewellery out of paper. So, when I came back home to South Africa, I found myself unemployed and decided to start creating products that I could sell; eventually I discovered this opportunity to develop myself at CfERI,” Uithaler said in an interview with The Guard.
Elias Nteo, a relationship executive from ABSA, had this to say: “Small businesses must also make an effort to make themselves fundable, we need to develop a culture of putting money into business accounts because when people live from hand to mouth and do not have healthy business practices like taking their money to the bank, then it is very hard for a financial institution such as ABSA to fund their business.”