In South Africa, the Western Cape Provincial government, in partnership with Telkom and business accelerator the Bandwidth Barn, has launched a new training initiative aimed at providing ICT entrepreneurs with a broader skills base. The focus of the program is to give these entrepreneurs the right education and skills to enable them to create and build sustainable businesses in the province’s ICT sector.
The program covers a wide array of business-related fields, including basic accounting and financial management, project management, performance management and business strategy formulation.
The initiative was conceived as the result of detailed skills analysis conducted among the target companies, which revealed a diverse range of training requirements. Rahima Loghdey, Director for Workforce Development for Economic Development and Tourism, says: “Although we had a fair idea of what would be required, we did not want to be prescriptive so we decided to ask the companies what they wanted.”
The Bandwidth Barn, a business start-up accelerator which house the companies targeted by the program, was delighted at the opportunity to expand its mentorship program. Says Chris Vermeulen, general manager at the Bandwidth Barn: “We were delighted to be proactively approached and responded immediately. We find that ICT start-ups are usually technically very sound but they need support with the more administrative side of business.”
This project provides a good model on which to base future partnerships between the government and private sector, specifically for the development of new businesses in the ICT sector.