St Helena Bay residents don’t have to travel all the way to Saldanha to receive assistance with their business anymore.
The West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC) officially opened its satellite office in Stompneusbaai next to HP Williams on Friday 1 March.
The centre aims to assist prospective entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills needed to start their own business and also to upskill existing small business owners.
The opening of the centre was made possible by the Oceana Group, whose Lucky Star factory is situated in Stompneusbaai.
Norma Teyise, Oceana Group Executive: HR, Transformation and CSI, attended the official opening. In her speech she urged residents to make use of the opportunities provided at the centre.
At the official opening 10 locals also received certificates for a Basic Windows Office course they recently completed, as part of the WCBDC’s first workshop held.
Their own resource
“It is so wonderful to see all these young people already taking advantage of the training,” said Teyise.
She further said it takes boldness and courage for people to take a chance on themselves and start a business. “We are so often told to go out and work for someone else, because it is seen as the safer option,” Teyise said.
“To me, this centre represents hope and I am encouraging you all to make use of it. And by doing so, you will be fulfilling the board’s vision for this initiative, to help the community create a brighter future for themselves.”
WCBDC Manager Chris Meyer added to this, saying the aim of the new centre is not to just groom local businesses to become service providers for the fish factory, but rather to get them ready for the opportunities outside the West Coast as well. Ready for more
Nicolas Marthinus, who successfully completed the Basic Windows Office course, says he is eager to learn more. “I have taken so much from the training,” he said. “I am now empowered to start doing more of my business’ admin. My business is still small, so if I can do more myself, it means I save. When I am more established, I can create jobs by employing others,” Marthinus added.
Elaine Raman from Oppikaai restaurant says she wants young people in the community to stop sitting at home and being hopeless.
“These courses are free and open to anyone willing to better themselves,” she said. “You can do something for yourself. Even if you did not complete school. Come and find out what training is available.”
Celestine Alkaster (19) said she took the course as she has plans to help her father with his business, Alkaster Financial Services. The 2017 matriculant said she plans to take regular courses at the centre. Many of these incumbents have already enrolled for the next workshop, starting today (Thursday 7 March).So much on offer
Aside from the workshops, St Helena Bay, Laingville and Velddrif residents will also receive assistance on how to start their businesses.
WCBDC assists prospective business owners with registration, compliances and can assist in getting them registered as a service provider on various databases.
“We will also host regular informative workshops with institutions such as the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and Department of Labour to assist local entrepreneurs,” said Meyer.
Although workshops and some of the services at the centre are free of charge to the small business owners, financial backing from corporates are needed to make it possible,” explained WCBDC chairperson Welmarie Coetzee.
) The centre will be open on Thursdays between 08:00 and 15:30.
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