Global competition is increasing for all industries, including SMMEs on both overseas and local markets. To deal with this challenge and to prepare SMMEs to be highly competitive, the WCBDC became part of a SEDA Initiative to facilitate training and empowerment of SMMEs in international trade through an Export Orientation programme.
This programme provides basic training for companies that have no or very little previous export experience, yet they have export potential. The course is designed to introduce companies to concepts of exporting, and various resources available to assist new exporters in South Africa. This assists SMMEs in assessing their export readiness and in developing an export plan.
The entrepreneur who has a business idea, the will or desire to fight poverty and unemployment and committed to succeed, yet with no capital to start, will be introduced by the West Coast Business Development Centre to Financial Institutions offering loans to those turned away by banks and other formal financial institutions. The WCBDC works in close collaboration with:
- Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) offers loans from R1.500 to a maximum of R40,000 to entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age who are unemployed but have a solid business idea.
- National Empowerment Fund (NEF) supports the BEE act No 53 of 2003, the SA Government Broad-based BEE Strategy and related scorecards. The Group and Entrepreneurial Schemes Division of the NEF delivers support to entrepreneurs in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector and fosters business development. In addition, it provides capital to assist in the development of community and rural projects. Furthermore, it seeks to promote a culture of equity investment and savings among Historically Disadvantaged Persons through various programmes.