By Emily Setona
BETHLEHEM – Female enterprise development programmes are a very important step towards assisting and supporting businesses that are founded and run by women. The Free State Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSYCCI) launched their Women Enterprise Development Programme (WEDP) program for the region of Thabo Mofutshanyana district.
Dihlabeng municipality’s Local economic development office hosted the launch of the FSYCCI’s WEDP program on the 23rd of August at their town hall. The program was held in partnership with the following stakeholders: South African Local Government Association Free State (SALGA – FS) and the African Disability Business Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADBCCI). Mr. Bularah Chopo the FSYCCI’s organizer in the Thabo Mofotshanyana district invited young women entrepreneurs to participate in this wonderful event and 10 were in attendance. “It is very important to support women who start their own businesses and to make sure that they have access to the right information and opportunities in the different business sectors”, said Mr. Chopo.
The Provincial Secretary for FSYCCI Mr. Motlogeloa Mokoena discussed issues around compliances, having your business’s paperwork in order and making sure that the business bank account is kept active. “Our business chamber wants to make sure that our female members are aware of the opportunities that are available to them, but they cannot participate and take full advantage of these opportunities if their businesses are non – compliant,” said Mr. Mokoena. He also pointed out that women must be aware that there are opportunities for them in the following sectors; the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), construction, procurement in the public sector, the automotive industry as well as agriculture and agro – processing. “These are just some of the opportunities that women in business can take full advantage of,” said Mr Mokoena.
Mr Mohau Nhlapo, the Provincial Secretary for ADBCCI emphasized that people with disabilities or specially abled individuals also run businesses and that his business chamber is aimed at assisting and empowering this unique group of individuals. “Starting a business is not for the faint hearted, it requires a lot of work, but with the right information and support any individual is capable of running a successful business,” said Mr. Nhlapo. Both Mr Nhlapo and Mr. Mokoena stated that this program that their business chambers have established is being run without any funding from the government and private sector, that any assistance will help this program go a long way in aid of female entrepreneurs.