Through this year's South Africa Mobile Entrepreneurs Program (MEP), OGE has trained 215 aspiring entrepreneurs, street vendors and informal small business owners in entrepreneurship, technology and Internet safety skills. Here's a look at the results the entrepreneurs achieved after completing intensive in-person training, receiving advice and tips via text message and exercising new skills:
Thanks to our Global Giving donors for supporting MEP to empower high impact entrepreneurs across Johannesburg!
Gugu, a 34 year old woman from Daveyton, runs a business selling handbags in her neighborhood. Through MEP, she broadened her basic business marketing know-how by learning new and effective strategies for communicating her offering to her market. Other entrepreneurs, like Gugu, are excited to utilize social media tools to expand their marketing and reach.
Given from Ivory Park owns a car wash in his neighborhood, where he has seen similar businesses enter the market. MEP helped him prepare to compete with other local car wash businesses. "The MEP training has helped me to identify my financial needs and prioritize so that I can save for my business in order to be competitive."
All MEP participants receive weekly text messages to support their growth and guide them through the adoption and application of technology skills essential to starting and improving their businesses.
OGE is grateful for the support it receives from Global Giving donors to continue MEP!
The Mobile Entrepreneurs Program (MEP) engaged more aspiring entrepreneurs, street vendors, and small business owners this past month through intensive training workshops in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and technology skills in the Johannesburg townships of Ratanda, Thokoza, Orange Farm, and Meyerton, bringing the total number of people served through the 2013-2014 program year to over 375. In between educational workshops and activities, Local Master Trainer, James Sekhonyane led group brainstorming sessions focused on discussing relevant topics in entrepreneurship, such as how to convert community challenges into opportunities for small business creation, defining essential characteristics of an entrepreneur, and best practices for collective fundraising and improving financial literacy. In Thokoza, MEP engaged 23 young aspiring entrepreneurs, of which 80% were women, who were eager to start their own businesses after celebrating Youth Day in South Africa. The women were empowered through sessions focused on key challenges such as how to find start-up funding. 33 year-old Moureen came to the workshop with the goal of developing more formal business skills for running her 'spaza' or 'tuck' shop, a small neighborhood corner store selling items ranging from food, drinks, cooking supplies and airtime for mobile phones. After learning practical skills she could apply toward improving her business, Moureen felt confident that her shop would "operate more efficiently and productively," going forward. "I learned the importance of taking inventory and calculating all my expenses to be able to cut costs.’’ she said.
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