Johannesburg – Teaching specialised business skills to small enterprises is key to growing the economy and supporting job and wealth creation.
This is according to Nozicelo Ngcobo, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability (PACS) Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) which is partnering with the Henley Business School in Johannesburg on a strategic learning partnership for select suppliers in the CCBSA value chain.
Ngcobo said: “The primary focus of the partnership is to ensure that small, micro, and medium enterprises can play a meaningful role in the mainstream economy.”
The 2024 CCBSA-Henley Business School Supplier Development programme kicked off on Wednesday 17 January with the official launch at the Henley Business School Africa campus near Rivonia.
A total of 20 suppliers will attend the 12-month programme at HBS to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice, a NQF-8 level qualification.
This is the second year of the partnership between CCBSA and Henley Business School.
Ngcobo said the 2023 cohort were already seeing the benefits of the course in the running of their businesses and the opportunities for growth.
The course, offered online and face-to-face, includes Systemic Management Practice, Innovative Wealth Creation, Managing Value Streams and Synthesis and Integration among others.
The programme is targeted at suppliers who are at least 51% black-owned, 100% black and black female owned busineses, exempt micro-enterprises, or qualifying small enterprises in line with the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Codes of Good Practice.
Henley Business School, Director of Executive Education & Head of Learning Experience, Linda Buckley said: “This is such an important initiative to help small business owners grow their businesses and increase their contribution to the overall economy, including creating much needed jobs and supporting livelihoods.”
According to Buckley, the course modules are designed to help small businesses upscale their operations and grow their annual revenue by, amongst other things, increasing and diversifying their customer base and by being commercially astute.
“The programme has been rigorous, but they are resilient and their ability to meet challenges head-on make us proud,” she said of the Class of 2023 which is still ongoing.
Ngcobo added that it was important to support small business owners who often take enormous risks when starting out, including leaving stable employment to strike out on their own.
“As industry, we have a responsibility to encourage and support entrepreneurship by creating opportunities and empowering small and medium businesses through robust mentorship, coaching and training. The success of the programme will be in how the selected suppliers are able to increase their capacity, grow their businesses and create more jobs.”
Ngcobo added that “for CCBSA, this is building and growing capacity in its supply chain. But this investment is not just for ourselves as a leading beverages company, but ultimately much broader”.
Dr Roche Mamabolo, Director at Lora Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurs, and one of the suppliers selected for the course, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for me as a small business owner. “I worked hard to grow my business by training and mentoring entrepreneurs. Now I will be learning new skills which will help me take my business to the next level in terms of growth, and to be in a position to create more jobs and support others, which is so important,” Dr Mamabolo added.
Lora Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurs, is based in Pretoria and currently supports 10 jobs.
The CCBSA-Henley Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice Supplier Development Programme is an advanced diploma and graduate programme, for managers with 3-4 years of middle to senior management experience, technical or other specialists, as well as senior managers with no degree qualification but can access the programme via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).