MTN invests R5.5M in youth and women

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General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation, Kusile Mthunzi-Hairwadzi. PHOTO: Facebook Businesswoman SA Magazine.

The MTN SA Foundation will be supporting 50 promising entrepreneurs in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector through the Accelerated Business Development Programme. This is in partnership with Free State-based Hodisang Dipeo Holdings, the University of the Free State’s Entrepreneurship & Business Literacy (EBL) Institute and Gauteng-based DataComb Development Hub (DDH.)
The intensive 10-month programme aims to help emergent enterprises avoid failure. This after the high failure rate of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa has been attributed to lack of business skills, markets and finance.
During the programme participants will attend a series of lectures and receive valuable insights and tools designed to empower them and contribute to the development of processes and governance needed to run their businesses.
General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation, Kusile Mthunzi-Hairwadzi, explained that the programme’s goal to develop skills for women and youth is highly important to the foundation. “MTN is very pleased to be able to support an initiative that is very much in line with our continued drive to facilitate skills development and enable job creation within the ICT sector,” she said.
“Equally important is that this initiative allows us to assist in enabling youth entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. This can only result in a win-win outcome for both the beneficiaries and for our country,” Mthunzi-Hairwadzi elaborated. The SMMEs included in the programme were all selected based on the fact that they offer ICT-related products or services.
Each of the businesses will receive mentoring and coaching with a focus on access to technology, markets, skills and funding, as well as guidance on compliance documents and realistic and achievable marketing plans.
According to Mthunzi-Hairwadzi, the foundation’s contribution to the programme is about more than the money. “We always factor in the element of sustainability when selecting the initiatives we support. It is for this reason that the SMEs that graduate from this programme will have an opportunity incorporated into MTN’s supplier database as potential service providers,” she said.
“As a proudly South African company that supports SME skills development, we are pleased to work with like-minded partners like Datacomb, the UFS andHodisang Dipeo to equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build, grow and sustain their businesses,” explained Mthunzi-Hairwadzi.