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Small business owners introduced to digital world

A three-day digital enablement training programme for small business owners from Bloemfontein and surrounding towns was held last weekend.

The programme was developed and delivered by the GIFT Foundation with support from the UK South Africa Tech Hub.

“We partnered with Impact Spaces to help with local organisation. We also partnered with Destea who assisted us by getting the word out to small business owners to apply for training.” said GIFT Foundation Founder and Executive Director, Nobukhosi Dlamini.                          

Impact Spaces presented a curriculum aimed at helping business owners to be more confident in promoting their businesses and to develop a clear idea around who their target market is.

“Our mission is to assist them to pivot and diversify their business from running physical or brick-n-mortar businesses to also having online businesses, marketing and transacting online”, said Tsakane Mpikwane founder at Impact Spaces.  

The trainers also helped participants understand the value of doing business online and helped with strategies that they can implement in migrating from physical to digital.

Business owners were taken through various digital platforms, to help them to understand how to use them for business purposes and how to set up their business online, as well as create their own websites.

With the devastating impact Covid-19 had on small business, Impact Founders felt the need to assist with some knowledge that can assist local businesses to bounce back and generate income.

“Our commitment is to help small business owners to recover from the pandemic, reconnect with their customers, and to also attract more customers that may even be outside of Bloemfontein or the Free State,” explained Mpikwane.

The programme took 20 businesses through the digital enablement and transformation process and all of them are now active on digital platforms.

“We are going to continue with further virtual training for the next few months so that these business owners become very proficient and comfortable operating online. We will continue sharing strategies and tools that are available to assist them. We will also be holding one on one coaching sessions to address specific problems or challenges that each business owner might be having.

“Furthermore, we hope to continue training other small business owners from the Free State in future,” she noted.

By: Neo Ntsele