De Beers Venetia mine has partnered with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to empower and uplift local entrepreneurs through the annual Incubation Support Programme.
To promote economic growth surrounding its operations, De Beers supports about 90 entrepreneurs through unique and specialised enterprise development and support programmes. The recent incubation support workshops were held in Musina and Blouberg in the Limpopo Province for 40 local enterprises.
The partnership with the NYDA ensures that young entrepreneurs are mentored and offered skills in financial management, operations and business management. The entrepreneurs are further linked with financing or business opportunities. Gregory Petersen, Senior Commercial Manager for De Beers says, “De Beers is extremely proud to be involved in the incubation programme because we are passionate about ensuring sustainable development and positively impacting future generations in the communities in which we operate. This programme will ensure that we develop sustainable businesses that will create jobs and opportunities for local entrepreneurs, elevating communities above poverty levels and reducing unemployment”.
The incubation programme features a monthly classroom training session offering mentorship on topics such as market research, financial management and operational management which should ultimately lead local businesses having bankable business plans.
The workshop hosted at the Mudzwiri Lodge in Musina, was also attended by officials from the Provincial Treasury who promoted the use of the new internet-based portal to access Limpopo province government business opportunities or tenders which are advertised on the platform.
The Blouberg local municipality also encouraged entrepreneurs to participate in local procurement opportunities to create job opportunities in local communities.About 12 young entrepreneurs currently involved in the incubation programme presented their businesses to the NYDA with the aim of accessing funding.
Phathutshevi Madima from Rodges Projects, a beneficiary of the programme says she hopes to grow her construction business and prove that women can thrive in the construction industry. “It is rare to find a woman in the construction business, and I am in it to prove that female led construction businesses can work, and dispel the stereotypes. Ever since I presented my story to the NYDA and De Beers, I have become more confident and more motivated. I am now able to go out and source clients, something I was not able to do before.”“I currently employ two people and when I obtain funding from the NYDA, I will be able to employ over 10 people and make a difference in my community,” says Madina.
“De Beers is pleased to see younger people taking advantage of the business opportunities afforded to them, more so the opportunity those looking to participate in the diamond sector value chain. We will support these businesses as way of reducing unemployment in local communities,” says Lesiba Lamola, Venetia ESD Manager.