Meyerton MEP Graduates
By the end of the 2013-2014 Mobile Entrepreneurs Program (MEP), One Global Economy (OGE) engaged over 400 aspiring entrepreneurs, street vendors, and small business owners. The program reached 8 rural townships and communities in Johannesburg and Durban, the highest number of communities OGE has served in a given year, many of which do not have access to training opportunities in entrepreneurship, technology, and financial literacy skills.
In addition to delivering its intensive training workshops, MEP offered all participants virtual mentoring through SMS. Through text messages, the local trainer reinforced learning, and disseminated tips and information to track progress and success, engaging in 2-way communication at times, to coach entrepreneurs on specific topics. Text message content corresponds to both workshop material and concepts learned, as well as desired results in business planning, financial literacy, and technology skills application, providing participants with guidance at every stage in starting and growing their enterprise.
After the last round of workshops this summer, OGE evaluated the 375 participants, who remained in the program out of a total of 400, and their achievement of the desired results. Program activities have contributed to the following results:
1) 60% opened a bank account
2) 91% created a business plan
3) 29% increased their savings for business growth by 25%
4) 11% monitored bank accounts online and/or through SMS alerts
5) 22% accessed 10 government and/or private local services for education and/or financial support using the Internet
6) 10% increased profits by 20%
7) 14% increased new business opportunities by 15%
8) 40% established partnerships in a joint business venture
9) 25% found a job opportunity online.
OGE hopes to work in partnership with the Symantec Corporation for its 2014-2015 program to incorporate a focus on cyber security for small business owners and entrepreneurs.