Solar Capital Entrepreneurial Development Programme

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2013 Report, South Africa has one of the highest failure rates of business start-ups in the world. These business failures can be attributed to inadequate business knowledge, the incorrect candidates being awarded enterprise opportunities, as well as a lack of mentorship & guidance during the first 1-2 years of enterprise development. To ensure that Solar Capital had a full understanding of enterprise development opportunities in De Aar, as well as how many local entrepreneurs would be candidates for financial assistance, Solar Capital launched a research project. The results of this research project gave Solar Capital a full understanding that entrepreneurial skills development were desperately lacking in De Aar. Without addressing this need, it was clear economic growth in the municipal area of Emthanjeni would not take place.
In collaboration with the Business School of University of the Free State (UFS), a competition was launched on 15 January 2015. This competition called for business plan proposals to be submitted, the top 20 of which were chosen. This lead to these entrepreneurs being enrolled in the 2015 Solar Capital Entrepreneurial Programme. This programme has commenced, with 3 of the training sessions already having been completed. The UFS has developed the particular curriculum, which covers entrepreneurship; financial, strategic, project and time management; as well marketing and administrative skills.
This educational programme will run for 6 months. Furthermore, if a candidate has successfully completed their training, they will receive seed capital within a structured format, which will assist them to develop their new business (or expand their existing business). At this point these candidates will have free access (for a pre-determined time) to small business units which Solar Capital will make available within their business incubator units in De Aar.
2015 Enterprise Development Programme as outlined above : R2 million