Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 Nov 2011

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: UK/SA Trade Deal for Small Business


Recent Gauteng Business News

The potential for increased trade between South Africa and the United Kingdom today received a boost with the announcement of a partnership between the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Micro Enterprise Development Organisation (MEDO), a South African-based organisation specialising in micro and small business and enterprise development at the grassroots level.

The MEDO-UKTI partnership will target micro enterprises (turnover less than R5M per annum) and small enterprises (turnover between R5M and R35M per annum), initially focusing on urban areas in Gauteng. The goal of the programme is to support entrepreneurs across various sectors with skills, mentoring and business development training, as well as sourcing opportunities for them to trade with and supply to UK-based businesses.

Small Business – Learning Modules

Only 25 spaces are available to Gauteng-based entrepreneurs as part of the intensive programme offered by MEDO, starting after Global Entrepreneurship Week. It will consist of two learning modules:

· Foundation Business Skills: running two days a week at the Johannesburg-based MEDO/UKTI walk-in-centre, it will offer shared services. It will kick off November 21, 2011 and run until mid-December 2011; and a

· International Trade: equipping micro and small enterprise owners with the appropriate knowledge and networking opportunities to expand trade with the UK-based companies (April – May, 2012).

“UKTI is focused on growing the economies of the UK and South Africa by facilitating more connections between small and micro businesses. This programme will also focus on skills transfer and job creation in South Africa. We also want to use our funding to leverage support from government-funded bodies and corporate South Africa,” says Duncan Hill, Deputy Trade Commissioner at UK Trade and Investment.

Royal Approval for the Small Business Learning Modules

Last week in Johannesburg, the British High Commissioner to South Africa hosted His Royal Highness Prince Charles, together with His Majesty Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, to showcase a vehicle retrofitted to contain 10 free Internet stations that MEDO is currently using in the Bafokeng region as a mobile training centre to engage with hundreds of micro and small enterprise owners in this largely rural area. The royals also met with some of the entrepreneurs taking part in the MEDO-UKTI programme to learn about their businesses plans for the future.

“MEDO’s relationship with UKTI is about expanding the capabilities of local micro and small businesses in order to conduct more trade between themselves and UK-based organisations, with a particular focus on sustainable business practices,” adds Judi Sandrock, CEO of MEDO. “We recognise that entrepreneurs often times need emotional and technical support, even more than funding; so each MEDO Centre that we establish will not only be a physical location to offer a small business or business services, but also a place for fellow entrepreneurs to meet, discuss and learn from one another.”


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