We strongly believe that business is integral to development. For any community to see economic growth it is crucial there is a growing business sector from within. Last August we partnered with ABSA bank to help promote this idea in the Zwelihle community of Hermanus. Each school term we work with grade twelve students to teach them conceptual, theoretical, and practical lessons of entrepreneurship. Students are encouraged to develop their own business ideas for their community and if they think their idea can really work, they give a presentation to our Grootbos mentors to request seed funding for their small businesses.
Yesterday I had the privilege of being a part of the meeting in which four students were told that they will receive funding to start their own small business! Two weeks ago, eight students proposed their ideas to a panel represented by Grootbos Staff and Consultants. During yesterday's meeting the students received great constructive and encouraging feedback about how to move forward with their business. Each of them also received a business mentor/coach from the local community to come alongside them to either start their business idea now, or better refine their idea over the next year so that they can resubmit their business proposal.
Personally, I was blown away by the creativity, humility and intelligence of each of these students. On behalf of the Grootbos Foundation I can safely say that we're all so proud of all of them for putting so much thought and hardwork into their ideas, and we're especially excited to see the growth of the four funded businesses over the next few months.
This article was written by our PR/Comms intern, Phil Gibson. He is a recent graduate from the University of San Francisco and will be working with us for a total of five months.