This program helps participants to identify, develop and implement business ideas. An action learning methodology is followed, through which needs and experiences of participants provide the foundation for training. The program is presented over a five-week period, after which mentoring and counseling are provided for another six to nine months. Coupled with access to finance and business information, the Centre offers a comprehensive, though flexible program to participants.
Entrepreneurial Development Program
Workshops were held to improve the managerial and functional skills of SMMEs. More than two hundred participants attended Basic Bookkeeping, Financial Management, Understanding Tendering, HR Management, Marketing, Business Management, Basic computer training, First Aid level 1, Telephone etiquette and BEE workshops during the 2006/7 financial year.
Specialized Business Training Skills
This programme is sponsored by Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and offered in the greater Cape Town area through SEDA Western Cape. The programme enables participants to attend a full series of practical export training courses covering all essential elements of exporting such as Incoterms, Export Costing, Methods of Payment, International Marketing, Export Documentation and Foreign Exchange.
Export Development Programme
The partnership that was formed between the Centre and the Military Academy (Management Department) to empower established SMMEs with business managerial and other business related skills resulted in a highly rated Bacic Management Course. This course is presented at the WCBDC twice per year and facilitated by competent facilitators.
Individual business mentoring and counseling forms an important part of the WCBDC daily activities. Participants vary from new entrepreneurs with minimum skills needing general assistance to established and skilled businesses needing specialist knowledge or a specific intervention. The most common requests for counseling relate to tender advice, business plans, marketing advice, bookkeeping, assistance in access to finance and performance management. The WCBDC maintains a database of highly skilled specialized part-time mentors. Through this programme business mentors are allocated to local SMMEs to provide them with more in-depth business assistance and advice.
Business Advice & Counseling
Almost 1200 clients visited the Centre in 2006/7 to obtain general business information like registration procedures of a CC (Close Corporation) to specific technical assistance provided by Business Advisors and part-time Mentors.
The WCBDC developed a Resource Centre where everyone can study current business information. Clients have access to information about SMMEs, relevant state department forums, publications, education and training institutions, consultants, business chambers, etc.
The SMME Forum is the SMMEs' mouthpiece to the WCBDC. Regular meetings are held during which SMMEs can raise their needs and concerns and offer suggestions to the Centre. SMME Forum meetings are also information sessions to SMMEs. Keynote speakers from different business disciplines or sectors within the region are invited from time to time to address SMMEs on business-related subjects.