Absa centre gives emerging businesses a lift
by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – MORE than 1 500 entrepreneurs have benefited from Absa’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in Newtown, Johannesburg, the bank said.
The centre offers free access to basic communications technology, business support services, which include consultations, business facilities and infrastructural support.
Officials said since its launch less than a year ago, the Centre of Entrepreneurship has managed to cut the costs traditionally associated with starting and running a business through offering business support services, meeting rooms, presentation facilities, hot desks and boardrooms.
The bank is on the verge of offering new services that include BEE certificates and internet connectivity.
Happy Ralinala, Head of Absa Business Banking in South Africa said the centre’s success could also be attributed to the business advisory services, mentorship, business seminars, workshops, specialised training and access to business facilities offered to business owners.
Oscar Siziba, Provincial Head of Absa Business Banking in Gauteng said for local start-ups, the landscape has dramatically shifted: Costs to start and run a business – especially day-to-day expenses – have significantly increased.
“Access to relevant non-financial support such as communications technology, office equipment and space or business consultation and training is important for business growth. We are proud that through offering this non-financial support, Absa’s Centre of Entrepreneurship brings more small business enterprises online and makes it easier to set up and grow a business,” Siziba said.
Meanwhile, through the bank’s Procurement Portal, a virtual marketplace that connects SME suppliers with Blue Chip companies and government bodies, the growth of especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been fast tracked to encourage Corporate SA to pursue products or services from them.
More than 23 000 SMEs and 3450 Corporate buyers are registered on the Portal and are actively using it.
Two such black, young South Africans – Vonani Mathebula and Evans Parsons – were singled out as entrepreneurs whose businesses demonstrated significant growth, development and profitability, while taking advantage of the centre’s services.
Both run wholly black-owned and profitable media and communications companies.
– CAJ News
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