News Updates:

Standard Bank training programme opens more opportunities for SMEs

Standard Bank training programme opens more opportunities for SMEs
25-01-24 / Shelly Nxumalo

Standard Bank training programme opens more opportunities for SMEs

Johannesburg - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been acknowledged as the key to economic growth. However, corporate-backed training and development opportunities usually benefit SMEs in major urban centres.

A new programme by Standard Bank Enterprise Development saw 50 entrepreneurs from the Free State graduating from a six-month online course aimed at helping them develop their businesses. The pilot programme helped business owners from Welkom, Odendaalsrus, Kroonstad and Theunissen to take their enterprises to the next level.

The Standard Bank-sponsored Ryze Development programme covered six business modules (problem-solving, banking, financial management, marketing, business model and value proposition) and other vital skills and were offered initially to participants engaged in a broad range of activities.

Of the graduating class, 11 business owners were offered a share of R760 000 in grants to grow their businesses. As a result of the programme, 44 new jobs were created. Another 10 selected graduating entrepreneurs were offered an opportunity to acquire ‘tools of the trade’ worth R10 000 each for their businesses.

“To ensure that the most promising businesses were allowed to maximise their potential, 20 entrepreneurs were offered an opportunity to undergo three months of further training with mentors. Following this, those banking with Standard Bank will be offered the support of a qualified business banker to assist with their day-to-day banking needs,” says Naledzani Mosomane, Head of Enterprise Development at Standard Bank.

The selection of smaller centres from the Goldfields region, a primary area of commercial activity in the Free State, made it possible for businesses from various sectors to take advantage of the Ryze Programme training.

“By involving entrepreneurs from four rural centres, we believe that we are also encouraging less developed small businesses to become aware of the benefits of crossing the rural digital divide. The benefits arising from the digital course will be more widespread than would have been the case in major urban centres where competition is tougher as more companies operate in crowded sectors,” says Mosomane.

Ninety-two percent of the participants in the Ryze programme graduated from the course. “This result indicates that registered SMEs in rural areas value the training opportunities as highly as their urban counterparts and appreciate the value added to their enterprises.”

“These development programmes are a core offering of Standard Bank’s Enterprise Development programme. We will be analysing the results of the pilot programme, assessing the benefits derived and considering how we can scale this programme across the Free State and the Northern Cape in 2024,” says Mosomane in conclusion.

Leave a Reply