City’s business voucher programme to benefit entrepreneurs
By Ilhaam Hoosain
05 June 2008
Through the City of Cape Town’s Business Support Voucher Programme, over a thousand businesses have received business support which is targeted at entrepreneurs.
The City’s voucher programme was designed to complement other existing voucher schemes.
In a report tabled before the City’s Portfolio Committee for Economic & Social Development, it was noted that 1 507 business vouchers to the value of R3, 2 million had been issued as at the end of January 2008.
During the past three financial years, the City allocated R4,2 million to the programme.
“The voucher programme is aligned to the City’s business support strategy which is aimed at facilitating economic growth and creating an enabling environment for businesses, leading to more jobs for the people of Cape Town. The aim is to create more business so that business can create more jobs, during the difficult economic conditions.” says the City’s Simon Grindrod.
Casidra is the implementation agent and the vouchers are issued through The Business Place in the city centre, the Red Door facilities in Atlantis, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, and the Mobile Red Door. These agencies identify specific needs and refer existing and potential entrepreneurs to accredited business consultants.
Support services include assistance with feasibility studies, business plans, business ‘health checks’ and business mentoring.
"The City aims to create an environment that will enable entrepreneurs overcome formidable barriers of entry into the world of business,” says Mansoor Mohamed, the Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism.
“What is most encouraging is that business support voucher recipients have used the business skills they have acquired to successfully apply for loans from commercial banks.
“Capital of over R5 million was secured by entrepreneurs from financial institutions by voucher recipients with innovative and creative business ideas,” says Mohamed.