SME skills training 'now showing'

Nomahlubi Radebe

Nomahlubi Radebe

Khula Enterprise Finance has launched an innovative way of reaching small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Business breakfasts called Khula SME Forums were recently launched at 14 Ster Kinekor cinemas across the country.

The forums, to be held in these intimate settings, are expected to attract 3000 people.

Xola Sithole, Khula managing director, said the use of the movie theatres would ensure they reached their target market.

"We want a better hit rate," he said.

He said they have addressed people in community halls, but found that these venues would attract people who were not really seeking their services to broaden the potential market. The cinemas also provided good sound and visual quality.

Khula has 13 regional offices across the country and provides finance, mentorship and capacity-building services to SMEs..

Sithole explained the purpose of the forums.

"The initiative is aimed at helping entrepreneurs to build and manage small businesses."

He said the initiative had been created to offer a coordinated learning programme to develop skills in the SME sector.

The forums will deal with questions such as: "How do I start and manage a business?" "What are the legal requirements?" and "Where do I access finance?" he said.

The launch was addressed by well-known entrepreneur Herman Mashaba, who shared his insights and experiences.

Subsequent forums will be held next month and in February and March next year.

Khula was established in 1996 as an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

It is a wholesale financial institution that operates across the public and private sectors through a network of channels to supply much-needed funding to small business.

Khula is geared to assisting businesses in their early stages and with start-ups that need financing of between R10000 and R3million, but has a special emphasis on businesses that need start-ups of less than R250000.