Seda Initiative to Boost Women Entrepreneurs

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BYLINE: Lucky Biyase

Female owners of small medium- and micro enterprises (SMMEs) struggling with reputational issues have been thrown a lifeline with the recent launch of the Small Enterprise Development Agency's (Seda's) co-operatives and community public-private partnership (Co-ops and CPPP) programme.

One of the aspects of the programme is to ensure support for female-driven businesses that have been overlooked in favour of their male-dominated counterparts.

"Despite the fact that female-owned enterprises contribute an increasing share to national revenue, with approximately 70 percent of informal businesses in South Africa owned or controlled by women, these budding entrepreneurs are still perceived as lacking the capacity of their male equivalents," said Hlonela Lupuwana, the chief executive of Seda.

The new Co-ops and CPPP programme is aimed at identifying markets, resources, technical assistance and capacity building opportunities bent on enhancing competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises.

"This will be facilitated by promoting the use of industry tools and models that enhance efficiency and planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of staff and projects," Lupuwana said. …