New programme launches to digitise SA township SMEs

A new digital enablement programme aimed at upskilling and supporting township and rural-based SMEs in Kwazulu-Natal and the Free State will be launching in November 2020. 

Over 60 small businesses will take part in the programme, with special focus on female owned SMEs

Established by the UK-South Africa Tech Hub in partnership with the GIFT Foundation, the programme will take place from mid-November 2020 to February 2021. 

The programme is aimed at equipping female and young entrepreneurs with a set of digital tools and skills to improve their businesses located in the township or rural areas. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has deteriorated the local economy with devastating effects on local small businesses. 

Nobukhosi Dlamini, founder of the GIFT Foundation explains that the programme will facilitate a move towards utilising technology and digital platforms for township-based SMEs to reach a wider range of customers and increase overall revenue. 

“During this programme we will train over 60 small businesses on how to improve their businesses by moving it from a physical-only transaction to using online digital platforms. This skills training will also include marketing strategies, cyber safety, setting up an online shop, and many other necessary skills to join the 4IR,” 

Optimising a digital space for small businesses can improve their customer reach, profit, upscale their business model, and positively contribute to the local economy by creating employment opportunities

Shirley Gilbey, UK-South Africa Tech Hub Director comments on the programme, expressing that she is thrilled to be launching the digital-focused initiative. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with one of our own alumni to deliver this initiative that will provide the tools and support traditional non-tech businesses to become digitally enabled.” 

The GIFT Foundation 

The GIFT Foundation is a Girls in FinTech Nonprofit organisation that empowers girls and young women from poor backgrounds to be active participants in the Tech industry. 

Founded by Nobukhosi Dlamini, a tech founder and alumna of multiple programmes of the UK South Africa Tech Hub. 

Focusing primarily on empowering teenage girls and women living in either townships or informal settlements, the GIFT Foundation aims to uplift these groups with both educational support and career development. 

Developed from the Bahati Tech Girls Club, the GIFT Foundation has now become an independent entity. 

Read more: Girls In Fintech Organisation aims to empower township businesses
Read more: Township tech startups accelerator launches

Featured image: Anna Shvets via Pexels 



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