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Entrepreneur Elisja van Niekerk says she’s now better prepared to grow her platform that helps moms to code, after graduating from a three-month online course run by Future Females, a global community of female entrepreneurs.
Together with fellow co-founder Nelisa Ngqulana (pictured above, right), Van Niekerk runs Coding Mamas.
“They gave us strategic direction and helped us to identify our minimal viable product, which meant that we could run a lean startup and test the market before investing to much in something that didn’t make sense,” Van Niekerk (pictured above, left) told Ventureburn yesterday.
The two were part of a group of 50 women who in June graduated from a free training course offered by Future Females. The course was held in partnership with the UK-SA Tech Hub.
The Future Females Business School also taught us how to sell confidently says Elisja van Niekerk
Van Niekerk added that the programme also helped her and Ngqulana to define their business’s brand and online presence better. This she said resulted in them growing their online following of moms to 850 women.
“The Future Females Business School also taught us how to sell and close confidently,” she added.
The programme was delivered primarily online, with the graduation event taking place in Johannesburg. Twelve course modules covered topics that include writing effective business plans, how to find and reach customers, as well as use of technology to build an online presence and scale.
Future Females co-founder Lauren Dallas explained that Future Females hand-selected 50 female entrepreneurs who were passionate about their ideas, technology, and about having a positive social impact.
Participants were from across the country, with just over half from Johannesburg and a quarter from Cape Town. In all, 68% were aged between 18 and 35 years, this while the other 32% were between the ages of 36 and 50 years.
Dallas said upon graduating 79% of the 50 participants of the programme said they now believe they have the technical knowledge and skills required to make their businesses a success.
When asked the same question at the onset of the programme, just 51% said they had the skills and knowledge to make their business a success.
While Dallas said about 45% of the participants had business ideas but had not yet started their ventures — seven percent were running a business with a revenue between R10 000 and R50 000 a month, while four percent had firms that generated over R50 000 a month.
Dallas said the true economic impact of the programme will only be reported after a year when key metrics like business continuation, revenue, customer numbers as well as job creation will be measured.
Feature image, from left to right: Coding Mamas founders Elisja van Niekerk and Nelisa Ngqulana (Supplied)