The Small Enterprises Development Company (SEDCO) has awarded five entrepreneurs in their ‘Cija Ngebhizinisi’ competition.
The competition is a partnership between MTN Eswatini and SEDCO. MTN Head of Corporate Service Sibusiso Nhleko said the 4th MTN SEDCO CIJA Ngebhizinisi project, was supported by over E900 000 over the past four years.
He said the initiative has had a phenomenal impact on young entrepreneurs through the provision of key business skills delivered on radio, and training on business management.
“MTN Cija Ngebhizini goes beyond funding the business, but ensures continuity through incubation, ongoing handholding and upskilling to ensure the business remains afloat, creating employment for even more emaSwati,” he said.
SEDCO CEO .hethiwe Mhlanga on Friday said the partnership between SEDCO and MTN Foundation seeks to disseminate knowledge on
best business practices for the growth of (Small and medium-sized enterprises) SMEs in Eswatini.
Different studies have shown that about 70 per cent of SMEs fail within their first two years of starting up.
Mhlanga said this could be attributed mainly to a lack of business management capacity by the owners of the enterprises, especially regarding record keeping and financial management. “SEDCO courses are designed to close such gaps and are mainly targeted to small business owners,” she said.
The CEO also mentioned that the radio programme was concluded on Friday, March 25, 2022, signifying the start of the next phase of the programme; the MTN SEDCO ‘Cija Ngebhizinisi’ competition.
She said the competition sought to bring together entrepreneurs to compete for prize money to recapitalise their business ventures and was only open to emaSwati that had participated in the radio programme and can prove practical applications of lessons learnt in their business ventures.
“As a country, we are still in recovery mode, following the impact of COVID-19 and the recent political unrest in our country. It is no secret that SMEs have been severely affected by the measures instituted by the government to mitigate the spread of the virus. We believe that this training will give you the tools you need to sustain your businesses,” said Mhlanga.
She added that the five winners had won a share of the E50 000 cash prize and that the competition also served as a verification tool on the impact of the radio show on participating local entrepreneurs.
Article by Times of Eswatini