Entrepreneurs are popping up at the Branson Centre
LEARNING, NETWORKING and selling were key features of the programme that ran last week at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Braamfontein, Joburg, to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Over the five-days, the Branson Centre hosted training workshops focusing on the theme “Passion to Profit”.
The week-long entrepreneurship programme was sponsored by Nedbank as part of the bank’s R1 million partnership with Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship for 2014. Nedbank presented training sessions on business acumen and on banking products and services aimed at SMMEs.
Selected entrepreneurs were also afforded the opportunity to engage with globally-acclaimed social entrepreneurs from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and England, as well as fellows from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s African Leadership Initiative and high-profile South African business leaders, like Ryan Bacher (NetFlorist), Zanosi Kunene (Coca-Cola Fortune), Given Mkhari (Power FM) and Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (African Fashion International).
“We are proud to be part of this initiative building on our commitment to partnering small businesses for growth for a greater South Africa,” says Nirmala Reddy, senior manager of enterprise development at Nedbank.
“In light of the fact that the SME sector employs two thirds of the workforce, it is evident that the future of our economy – and the solution to unemployment – lies in empowering entrepreneurs through practical solutions and active support including training and development.”
The entrepreneurship week ended on a high note with a pop-up market – about 20 entrepreneurs from the Branson Centre put their products on display at The Grove, an open-air square diagonally across the Centre in Melle Street, Braamfontein.
“Though the rainy weather presented a bit of a challenge, the market was a good opportunity for the public to get a head start on some holiday shopping,” says Gavin Meiring, Branson Centre’s marketing manager.
“For our entrepreneurs it was a chance to get their unique offerings out there in the public eye and to earn some income at the same time.”
It was a good day for entrepreneurs Njabulo Mtshali and Sibonelo Nkosi because they sold a good number of their mobile power cases at the pop-up market.
The power cases allow you to wirelessly charge your cellphone wherever and whenever you need to do so, with the basic power case costing only R340.
“We did quite well today,” said a smiling Mtshali, who is the chief executive of the small business called Booster Mobile Energy.
“Battery is the most common problem that most smartphone users have with their phones so it is not surprising that everyone likes our products and the prices we sell them at.”
Meiring points out that the Branson Centre’s primary aim is to help entrepreneurs to become innovative business leaders who help to create jobs.
The centre was launched in Joburg in 2005 and supports entrepreneurs by offering: Business training programmes. Access to a community of mentors, role models, industry experts and business networks.
Access to facilities and online resources.
Support and advice to help entrepreneurs grow businesses – efficiently and effectively.
For more information on the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, visit www.bransoncentre.org; for more information on Booster Mobile Energy, visit www.mybooster.co.za.
CHARGED: Entrepreneurs Njabulo Mtshali (seated) and Sibonelo Nkosi were all smiles as they sold a good number of their mobile power cases at the popup market hosted by the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship (building in the background) in Braamfontein last week.