However, like many other global markets, South Africa is currently facing a challenging economic environment. Conventional wisdom shows that during these times, entrepreneurship should be nurtured and encouraged so that there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of increased demand when the economic storm settles.
As a leader in distance education in South Africa, Mancosa feels that much more can be done to encourage entrepreneurship and highlight that business owners should have formalised training in basic and advanced business principles.
By equipping our participants with the tools they need to succeed, we create a ripple effect of positive impact across their communities and the nation.
Mancosa, in association with the co-founders of Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Haven (Nestene Botha and Peter Hingston) have launched the Ignite Programme, which will see Mancosa partner with some of the country's prominent business leaders who will be nurturing and offering key business ownership insights to aspiring entrepreneurs and those who own small and medium-sized companies.
The successful applicants are currently participating in a 16-week intensive training programme during which they will have access to coaching sessions, in person activities, and access to a network of entrepreneurs.
Additionally, the programme seeks to establish connections and collaborations between entrepreneurs on local and global levels, eventually driving innovation and economic growth.
"The Mancosa Ignite Programme emerges as a beacon of hope for South Africans by empowering entrepreneurs whilst boosting creativity and innovation, which is what Mancosa's Career Centre, Mancosa Centre for Innovation [Cfi] and Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Haven believe is critical in an environment that is continuously changing and evolving," says Roxanne Bosch, director: monitoring & evaluation and innovation at Mancosa.
Throughout the 16-week programme, students will work closely with nine global coaches who belong to the Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Haven community and will be coached by seasoned entrepreneurs who have key insights into running a profitable business.
Each coach is a successful entrepreneur and an expert in their own field, with strong relationships and a deep understanding of one another's expertise. This interconnectedness allows the coaches to create a seamless and powerful learning experience, with each coach building upon the foundation set by the previous one.
"Education is the cornerstone of sustainable development and progress. Through the Mancosa Ignite Programme, we aim to empower participants with the knowledge, skills, and connections they need to become agents of change, not only for themselves but for their communities and the country as a whole. We believe that by investing in the education of our aspiring entrepreneurs, we are laying the foundation for a more innovative, inclusive, and prosperous South Africa," adds Bosch.
While the Mancosa Ignite Programme is guided by international concepts of a similar nature, the programme would not be truly South African if it did not have unique elements.
“The Mancosa Ignite programme is unique as it allows aspiring entrepreneurs to network with a global community of well-established entrepreneurs and create lasting relationships with business coaches with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Coaching is a critical component in this dynamic world, allowing for theoretical and practical applications to intertwine in a real-world setting. The Ignite programme is therefore structured to boost innovative and critical thinking skills whilst advancing entrepreneurial competencies and building a pool of future employers,” says Lutfiya Adam, director of human resources and employability at Mancosa.
One of the aspects that makes Mancosa unique is that the institution takes a holistic view of the student. Mancosa embraces diversity and appreciates that there are several reasons why students choose to further their education.
For many South Africans, entrepreneurship is not only about nurturing a passion for business ownership; entrepreneurship is about providing for their family and communities as well as building a legacy for members of the community who may well be employed by the business, thereby becoming providers for their families.
"The Mancosa Ignite Programme is more than just an entrepreneurial training programme; it catalyses change. By equipping our participants with the tools they need to succeed, we create a ripple effect of positive impact across their communities and the nation. We are immensely excited to witness the incredible entrepreneurial success stories that will emerge from this programme, showcasing the power of education and collaboration in transforming lives and driving lasting change," says Bosch, who adds that by investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs and fostering international connections, the Mancosa Ignite Programme aims to create a lasting impact on South Africa's economy and society.
This will hopefully foster an entrepreneurial spirit which will place South Africa in a favourable position when the global economic climate is conducive for growth and South Africa is closer to resolving its crippling energy crisis.