NWU Vaal Enterprising Women Programme grows in leaps and bounds

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 02/05/2015 - 09:35

NWU Vaal Enterprising Women Programme grows in leaps and bounds

D-day has arrived for applicants for the 2015 Enterprising Women Programme (a short learning programme for business start-ups with a specific focus on female entrepreneurs), and the selection panel now has the difficult task to select the 15 best applicants for a round of interviews.

According to Leonie Greyling, a core member of the programme committee and a well-known business and entrepreneurial consultant, this year saw a 55% increase in the number of applications received.

Leonie Greyling The participants of the 2014 Enterprising Women Programme The programme is hosted within the bhive EDC

The 15 successful applicants will – after completing a vigorous screening process, start their 8 month entrepreneurial journey within the bhive Enterprise Development Centre (EDC). The bhive EDC represents a dynamic unit within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal).

More about the programme

It is estimated that more than 120 million women are starting or running new businesses in 67 economies around the world. In addition, an estimated 98 million are running established businesses. Across the regions, sub-Saharan Africa exhibits the highest average intentions, with 52% of women possessing the desire to start a business within the next three years.

In light of this and taking into consideration the growing unemployment rate in South Africa, the NWU Vaal joined forces in 2015 with two of the most well-known media houses in the Vaal Triangle region, in an effort to promote female entrepreneurship and by doing so contribute toward the regeneration and growth of the region and the Gauteng province. The media partners are: MooiVaal Media and IFM 102.2.

The Enterprising Women Programme is an eight-month programme, geared to provide business support services to women who wish to establish their own businesses. During the course of the programme, participants will be guided through a process to explore entrepreneurial ideas, develop sound business models and subsequently initiate their business with confidence and entrepreneurial know-how. Participants become part of a close-knit peer network of women embarking on an entrepreneurial journey. This will allow them to share experiences and learn from one another and other established female entrepreneurs through workshops and group sessions.

During the programme the participants are guided through various stages of entrepreneurial development such as idea to concept development, business model generation, market research and business plan development.

Participants are taken through a rigorous selection process and for the third and final year, the programme is fully sponsored by the bhive EDC, with participants paying only a R1 500 deposit, refundable upon successful completion of the programme. Future programmes will not be sponsored by the bhive EDC, so this year marks the final opportunity to benefit from the bhive EDC’s sponsorship.