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Training empowers informal traders

Written by Nosihle Shelembe
More than 100 informal traders have been empowered with skills to run their businesses efficiently and manage their finances.

Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu handed over certificates to 136 informal traders after they completed entrepreneurship training through a partnership between the Department of Small Business Development and the Wholesale and Retail SETA.

The traders attended a 10-module training course, which included financial management, merchandising, stock rotation, point-of-sale, marketing and selling skills, personal hygiene, health and food safety.

They were also trained in advertising and promotion, customer care and service, basic financial management, purchasing skills and legal issues. Training was done in partnership with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for informal traders in Soweto, Zaida Krauser said the course had been enlightening and had helped her become confident as a businesswoman.

“This course has been helpful, especially for women who stay in Eldorado Park because we usually lack information. This course has empowered me and it makes me want to do better as an individual,” she said.

Krauser, who runs a catering company, said she is grateful for the opportunity because during the training she met nine other informal traders and they have formed a support group.

“Each week we give one person from the group R300 each to use towards their business. We also advise each other if we are facing challenges and encourage each other to be better individuals,” she said.

The group also does referrals for each other as they have different businesses.

Queeni Peterson, who sells groceries in Eldorado Park, said when the opportunity to attend the training came, she grabbed it with both hands.

“This was a great learning experience. This has shown me that government really cares about us because the information we received will help us to grow our businesses,” she said.

Minister Zulu said her department has established two instruments that are earmarked for the support and upliftment of informal and micro businesses.

“The first instrument is the Informal and Micro Enterprise Development Programme (IMEDP), which will put in an investment of up to R80 000 per enterprise through skills development, mentorship and the provision of basic tools and equipment relevant to the business.

“The second scheme is the Shared Economic Infrastructure Facility (SEIF), which we seek to partner with municipalities, government agencies and the private sector for the building of new or upgrading existing infrastructure where informal and micro enterprises operate, mostly in townships and rural areas,” Minister Zulu said.

She said R50 million has been allocated for the roll-out of the Shared Economic Infrastructure Facility and support for informal businesses generally.

According to Minister Zulu, 992 informal traders and 45 informal trader organisations – a total of 1 037 - have been trained in business and retail-related skills so far.

“We are now upscaling the programme. For the 2016/17 financial year, 7 000 informal businesses in the country will be targeted. The dream of building an inclusive economy that benefits all will not be an elusive dream,” Minister Zulu said.

The training forms part of the National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy. The strategy aims to provide informal traders with skills, knowledge and support. For more information call: 0861 843 384

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