Ground-breaking mentorship programme for disabled entrepreneurs

Online since 22.06.2016 • Filed under Industry news
Ground-breaking mentorship programme for disabled entrepreneurs

Durban, 21 June 2016 – Yesterday, The Hope Factory, a Nation Building entity at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), launched a unique mentorship programme specifically designed to empower and enable physically disabled entrepreneurs in KZN.

The Hope Factory NPC has partnered with Transnet Pipelines South Africa to provide a specialised bespoke Enterprise and Supplier Development programme. What is so unique about this programme is that it is aimed at empowering and enabling entrepreneurs who are physical disabled, to develop personal and business skills to grow and improve their businesses. For most of these ladies and gentlemen, this serves as an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that can empower and transform their lives and assist them towards financial freedom and personal dignity. There are also opportunities to become regular suppliers of Transnet Pipelines.

This is the first time that The Hope Factory, a Nation Building entity at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has had the privilege of mentoring disabled entrepreneurs.

“As a Business Mentor, walking hand-in-hand with an entrepreneur on their journey to success and prosperity, through the highest high’s and low’s and ever changing business and personal terrain daily - is one of the greatest privileges that we cherish most here at The Hope Factory. This Transnet Pipelines (TPL) Special Programme for People with Disability, the brainchild of the Supplier & Enterprise Development department at TPL, is an amazing opportunity to achieve genuine and measurable transformation for this community of people who are often excluded from economic participation. The ESD initiative will equip and empower entrepreneurially-minded disabled people with sustainable skills and provide ongoing support to usher them on a life-changing journey from financial dependence to independence. This is the HOPE that we wish to build in and for South Africa and we look forward to many more such initiatives,” says Sipho Pilime, Special Projects Manager at The Hope Factory.

Business Mentorship, which remains at the core of the programme, is supported by a range of other service offerings such as:

  • Exposure to Market; Workshops/Specialized Training
  • Access to Industry Expertise; Operational Investments
  • Networking; Business Clinics and
  • Entrepreneur Financial Services

The Medunsa Organisation of Disabled Entrepreneurs (MODE) was identified as an ideal source of candidates for the mentoring programme, based on their empowering philosophy. The MODE programme is highly practical, taking the beneficiary from start up to operational- a natural fit for The Hope Factory to mentor participants to the “market ready” growth stage.

Kitumetsi Ntombela, Supplier and Enterprise Development Specialist at Transnet Pipelines says, “Working with The Hope Factory has been a natural fit for us. TPL has been in partnership with The Hope Factory for the past two years and they have successfully implemented previous ED initiatives on our behalf. The TPL Targeted ESD Programme For Disabled Entrepreneurs project is undoubtedly unique and ground-breaking. It was aimed at tapping into the segment of black disabled business owners, whom we at TPL have found through research and analysis that they still face barriers to accessing our Procurement opportunities in South Africa. Our vision is to see these beneficiaries progress from being “circumstantial” entrepreneurs into world-class and highly competitive business owners with the hope that one or more of these SMMEs will graduate into becoming a very active part of TPL’s supply base.”

The programme, which launched on the 21st June in Durban, consists of ten disabled and inspiring entrepreneurs, from a range of different industries.

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