03 JULY 2012
Business education for underprivileged
WBS is committed to growing business leaders in this country – and these leaders should not just come from the ranks of those who can afford to go to university. This was the thinking behind the Wits Business Clinic, which took place recently.
Wits Business Clinic delegates.
At the clinic, WBS academic staff shared their experience and expertise pro bono with people who are unemployed or who run small businesses. WBS lecturers Mark Peters, Theo Sibiya, Antony Soicher, David Zidel, Mike Mcethe, Charisse Drobis, Conrad Viedge and Prudence Ndlovu gave lectures on topics ranging from making a business plan and presenting yourself to a potential employer, to labour law.
Drobis, who gave a talk on personal branding, says the experience was very rewarding because the attendees were so enthusiastic about learning. The attitude they displayed at the talk showed they have what it takes to market themselves successfully, she says. “The session was highly interactive, with the group sharing some very interesting questions and insights,” she adds.
Dorothy Rampete of the Mogale Women’s Networking Forum attended the clinic. She says the reaction from the other attendees was very positive. She suggests the clinic in future take place over two days, so more time can be allocated to each topic and there is more scope for interaction with the lecturers. Rampete adds that the workshops should be held in townships, “because that’s where you can find emerging entrepreneurs or SMMES [small, medium and micro enterprises].”
Cleopatra Simelane, who runs an edutainment magazine called Recess
for high school students, says she found the workshop very helpful. “Running the magazine has been challenging for me, especially when it comes to selling advertising space,” she says. “The Wits Business Clinic forced me to examine my personal and business strengths and weaknesses.” She says she gained practical skills, including goal-setting, decisionmaking and recognising opportunities.