Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (11 October)

Entrepreneurs and small business owners that have set up and are running green businesses are invited to take part in a 10-month scholarship opportunity at one of South Africa’s top business schools. The programme runs from the end of November 2017 until September 2018 and allows entrepreneurs to develop business acumen and build critical business skills while continuing to develop their enterprises.

Acting director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s (GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA) Sam N. Ngcolomba said that: “Our objective is to support entrepreneurs at their time of need. Our programme is not training for training’s sake. It is a targeted and goal-orientated programme that contributes to preserving our precious resources in South Africa and to building SMEs and creating jobs.”

Fazlyn Toeffie, senior manager for marketing and client engagement at GIBS, says: “Known as the Small Business Boost 2.0 programme, entrepreneurs that have been in operation for two years or more are invited to apply.”

Toeffie outlines other key selection criteria:

  • The green economy scholarship programme is open to entrepreneurs based in Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Northern Cape and Kwa-Zulu-Natal provinces.
  • The only financial requirement for entrepreneurs is a commitment fee, which is refundable upon completion of the programme.
  • A total of 100 scholarships are available and selection is taking place on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • No applications after 31 October 2017 will be considered and only South African citizens and permanent South African residents can participate.
  • The business must have at least three full-time people. The business owner that attends programme must work in the business full-time and have a minimum of 35% shareholding.
  • Annual revenue can be anything from R200 000 to R2-million.

Toeffie explains that the green economy is where a lot of potential lies for SMEs, but because it is a capital-intensive sector, growing businesses can experience constraints. She says raising finance in this sector is also difficult.

The Gauteng Small Business Boost programme will take place at GIBS in Johannesburg while venues for the other provinces are still being confirmed. There will be no need for selected entrepreneurs in the Western Cape, the Northern Cape and Kwa-Zulu-Natal to travel outside of their provinces.

​For more information, please visit Applications can be made at: and queries can be directed to Fazlyn Toeffie at

Shortlisted candidates who meet the selection criteria will be contacted for an interview before the announcement of the 100 scholarship recipients is made.

Entrepreneurs that apply and have not been contacted by the end of October should consider their applications as unsuccessful but are welcome to apply again with the next intake.

Cape Town On A Mission To Double Halaal Exports By 2025

The exports of halaal products for local and international buyers will come under the spotlight at the first-ever small scale conference in Cape Town this month as the Western Cape province aims to punch above its weight in the industry.

Wesgro — Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency — said on Tuesday, that it has developed an ambitious strategy to enable the Western Cape Province to become one of the leading global exporters in the trillion dollar halaal products and services market.

Wesgo’s initiatives include doubling the region’s exports by 2025 which will bring an estimated U.S.$58 million to the economy.

According to the latest figures, the Western Cape experienced an annual average export growth of 17.84 percent worth U.S.$9 billion over the last five years.

Halaal exports, which include meat, dairy, fresh fruit, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, currently contribute less than one percent of that total.

Wesgro chief executive, Tim Harris, said that the international halaal industry is an important trade opportunity for Western Cape companies.

“To this end, Wesgro has intensified its trade efforts within this sector and is achieving remarkable results. From the export promotion inception programme in 2016, the total trade value secured from the international market has been estimated at R320 million,” Harris said.

In July, Wesgro’s research department published its first halaal market research paper, which provides insights into the industry, ranging from ‘background and definitions’, to ‘starting a halaal food and beverage business and getting certified’.

The ‘Halaal Products and Services Inward Buying Mission’, to be held at the end of this month, aims to showcase the region’s offering and infrastructure to delegates, facilitate new business streams and build long-term partnerships.

A longer-term plan by Cape Town and the Western Cape is to host the biggest Halaal expo in Africa in October 2018. (via African News Agency)

SA Manufacturing Production Up 1.5% In August

Manufacturing production in South Africa increased by 1.5 percent year-on-year in August, after having contracted in the preceding four consecutive months, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) said on Tuesday.

In August, only four of the ten manufacturing divisions registered positive growth.

StatsSA said this increase was mainly due to higher production in the basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery division at 11.3 percent and contributing two percentage points owing to the lift in global commodity prices.

The basic iron and steel division has sustained positive growth in the year to date but this has been insufficient to counter the underperformance of the remaining sectors, with manufacturing production contracting by 1.2 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year.

Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan said that over the last year, the performance of the South African manufacturing sector has diverged from global manufacturing production, which has strengthened.

“The global PMI and export orders have consistently remained in expansionary territory since mid-2016, suggesting improving momentum in both global production and trade. The comparative underperformance of the local manufacturing sector can be linked to persistently weak domestic demand conditions,” Kaplan said. (via African News Agency)​

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