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SMMEs to benefit at the Soweto Festival

Standard Bank is to sponsor 65 SMME's at the 2007 Soweto Festival, which runs from 21 – 24 September 2007 at the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown.

Soweto has many owners of small and medium businesses who have energy, intellect, ambition, creativity and entrepreneurial flair, but currently lack the experience, business and marketing acumen, sales training and access to financial assistance to be able to use this opportunity to develop their businesses.

The festival makes an important contribution to changing that by giving these owners the opportunity to display and sell their creative goods, while revealing their talent to the public and to other businesses from Soweto and beyond. Standard Bank, The City of Johannesburg Local Economic Development Department and The Soweto Small Business Executive Council will choose SMME's.

In addition to the festival, four-day seminars have been offered to the SMME's to equip them with basic and necessary business skills before and after the event. Standard Bank has made these half-day seminars possible and Professor Willie Conradie from the University of Johannesburg's Soweto Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Development will be providing the training.

Soweto residents' annual retail spending power tops R5 billion but only 25% of this finds its way back into the hands of Sowetans. The festival provides a vehicle for businesses in Soweto, South Africa's largest township, to reclaim their rightful share of this spending by placing local enterprises and SMMEs side by side with some of the country's leading brands.

The Soweto Festival is open daily from 10h00 to 20h00 and entrance is R20 for adults and R10 for children under 12 and pensioners.

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