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TOWNSHIP ENTREPRENEURS: Learning goes both ways

TOWNSHIP ENTREPRENEURS: Learning goes both ways

A NEW drive by government and the private sector is on to develop township entrepreneurs. But if the experience of one business support group is anything to go by, there will likely be hard lessons to learn.

The department of small business development last year began carrying out an informal support strategy which includes the provision of cost-sharing grants to unregistered firms to update machinery and buy stock, a partnership with municipalities to update infrastructure and business training.

Gauteng premier David Makhura announced plans last year to create a state bank that will support the province’s township economy, in line with the province’s plan to revive townships through the provision of hubs for light industry and funding for micro enterprises.

In addition, a number of companies are supporting township entrepreneurs, or are using innovative ways to distribute products in townships via locally based business people.

These include pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which recently set up a mentoring programme for 57 spaza shops, and multinational McCain, which has sourced township dealers to distribute potato chips to spaza shops and tuckshops.

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