The Small Business Enrichment Programme (SBEP) is designed to train, empower and develop existing business owners and entrepreneurs. In 2018, a few improvements were introduced based on recommendation from previous student evaluations and project stakeholders; and these included amongst others adding two extra days of learning covering an intensive Project Management tools, an introduction of a Business Canvas tool to assist entrepreneurs with business turnaround strategy, and use of different training venues that are more conducive to learning. These improvements turned out to be beneficial to both the Centre and Students, and resulted in improved turnaround strategies presented at the end of the course.
UJ Finance Expenditure department has since 2015, journeyed together with the Centre to empower SMMEs and have trained about 379 entrepreneurs’ to-date. Many of the SMMEs have shared testimonies with both the Centre and the Sponsor (UJ Finance Expenditure) of what the program has transformed in their businesses. The 2018 call attracted a number of professionals who moved from working in corporate and decided to start their own businesses.
The program was staggered in three cohorts; two cohorts are delivered at the Auckland Park Banting Road campus and one at the Soweto Campus. Soweto Campus had previously been the main campus for SBEP offering until 2018. Moving two cohorts to Auckland Park was a strategy to reach out to entrepreneurs who resides in other townships of the greater Gauteng Province, enabling the Sponsor to extend their target beneficiaries to all deserving SMMEs registered on UJ database.
In May 2019, 115 entrepreneurs graduated for 2018 Small Business Enrichment Programme, after successful completion of the programme; having attended at least 80% of classes and orally presented their business turnaround strategies to a panel of industry experts, the Sponsor (UJ Finance Expenditure) and the Centre.
In 2020, there were some other changes introduced to the programme. The UJ SBEP adapted the Online offering model to meet the country’s COVID 19 lockdown requirements. It was decided that for the remainder of the year, the UJ SBEP will be offered strictly online.
The course comprises of 22 lessons over 14 weeks. The modules covered for this course are:
- Business Communication
- Strategic Management
- Entrepreneurial growth strategies
- Business Leadership Ethics
- Project Management
- Marketing Management
- Operations Management
- Human Resources Management
- Quality Management for growing business
- Financial management and costing