Five high performing enterprises from the programme walked away with brand new laptops along with certificates and trophies. From left to right: Rabelani Manenzhe (Graceland Poultry – Highest Investment), Mpho Setjie (City Space General – Highest number of jobs supported), Peter Dliwayo (Hlualani Civils – Highest Turnover), Orina Musekwa (Mag T Trading Enterprise – Most Transformed enterprise) and Arena Mashaba (Rainbow Still Water – Most Transformed enterprise)

De Beers Venetia Mine, in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency, hosted a graduation ceremony for participants of its Enterprise Coaching Programme on Thursday, 11 November 2021. The programme enrolled thirty (30) entrepreneurs who went through 10-months of intensive coaching and mentorship, enabling them to enhance and sharpen their entrepreneurial competencies, establish new business networks and share their insights.

The coaching sessions were facilitated by master coach practitioner, Mr Reuben Rammbuda of Zwazwiremi Pty Ltd. and mostly focused on growth strategies and business performance. This intervention resulted in an overall increase in turnover of R5,7 million for businesses in the programme and 100 new jobs created.

In addressing the participants, Rammbuda acknowledged that the programme was conducted under difficult circumstances, given the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures. “Despite these challenges, we succeeded. We brought in experts to help keep these entrepreneurs focused, motivated and empowered to renew their vision, so that they can quickly adapt to the changes within the business ecosystem”.

Provincial Manager of Seda Limpopo, Mr Koenie Slabbert highlighted the importance of capacitating enterprises and enabling them to contribute to economic and social development of their communities. “Our partnership with Venetia Mine really demonstrates our collective commitment to producing well-trained and quality suppliers that meet the mine’s standard. We want to ensure that our enterprises are developed well enough so that eventually they can stand on their own feet, whether it is in supplying the mine or any other entity with whichever product of service they specialise in”.

Representing De Beers Group, Venetia Mine’s Senior Manager: Socio-Economic Development, Ms Livhuwani Nwachukwu said that the ceremony was a clear illustration of working in collaboration with our stakeholders and communities. “It is only through these partnerships that we will strengthen the co-existence of the mine with our communities and ensure that Venetia continues to be seen as a partner in socio-economic development”.

In sharing his testimonial as the enterprise with the highest turnover, Mr Peter Dliwayo of Hlulani Civils, said he was grateful to Venetia mine and Seda for empowering him to be able to create employment opportunities for local communities. Mr Rabelani Manenzhe of Graceland Poultry also received an additional award for having recorded the highest investment during the programme. He said: “I am very confident that my business will not only continue diversifying and sustain beyond this programme, but will also, in the long-run, help fight against food insecurity and contribute towards job creation in our communities”.

While the certification marks the end of their formal coaching, the entrepreneurs continue to be supported to ensure improvement in terms of job creation and turnover.