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South African banking institution Absa has announced its “empowerment” of 4 000 small business owners through events. The attendees were primarily made up of young and women-owned enterprises.
Absa collaborated with both the private sector and non-profit organisations from Gauteng for its 70 business seminars and workshops, which took place over the past four months.
The participants also received free advice on the problems they faced and how to succeed in Gauteng’s economy. The topics covered included funding and customised services.
According to Banie Claasen (pictured above), newly appointed Provincial Managing Executive of Absa in Gauteng: “The seminars we have hosted form part of Absa’s strategic objective to help entrepreneurs grow.”
He goes on to say, “We are particularly proud that 65% of the beneficiaries of our seminars were youth and women. A total of 1 050 youth were assisted including students and local businesses at the Gauteng South West College Entrepreneurship seminar in Soweto and learners participating in the Junior Achievers South Africa (JASA) Programme in Orange Farm.”
Absa has empowered a further 878 women-owned enterprises with financial understanding in Molapo, Wattville, Dobsonville, Daveyton, Tembisa, Diepsloot, and Vosloorus. This was done in conjunction with Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), Christian Women Entrepreneurs Network of Africa (CWENA), Ekurhuleni Outreach programmes, Humana and the South African Black Hawkers Association (SABHIBA).
Absa will be hosting a series of additional seminars, workshops, and SME exhibitions at the Riverside Incubator, Township Expo in Soweto. The banking institution looks to assist a further 2500 entrepreneurs by the end of 2015 through the incubator, and the greater townships within the Ekurhuleni Metro.