Enterprise Development Academy (EDA)

A pioneering and stimulating environment for small growing enterprises; building and regenerating entrepreneurial spirit amidst a culture of innovation.

Click here to view our current scholarship opportunities​

About us

T​he Academy is a centre of excellence specialising in tailor-made, practical business education and support services delivered by leading faculty and industry specialists to entrepreneurs, nationally. In South Africa, small businesses are recognised as a driving force for economic growth and creation of jobs. The National Development Plan refers to a target of 90% of the expected 11 million jobs that need to be created by small and growing businesses. However, 80-90% of new businesses fail in the first two years, with some of the reasons for failure being lack of access to markets, capital and business skills. To address this challenge, the Academy’s primary focus is making business education accessible to start-up, micro and small business entrepreneurs, especially those who have been underserved or marginalised. In doing so, our purpose is to help small business owners to develop sustainable, efficient enterprises that are able to employ more people.

What we do

We provide high quality business education and support services for small and growing businesses that create and demonstrate social and economic impact. To ensure that this education and support is accessible to those who would not ordinarily be able to afford it, the Academy works primarily on a scholarship-based model. This is made possible through the generous contribution of public and private sector partners committed to enterprise development.

How we help organisations

We assist and support organisations in achieving their enterprise development objectives by:

  • Forming a close relationship with our clients by understanding their enterprise development strategy objectives
  • Supporting the clients’ commitment to economic growth by helping the organisations grow micro and small businesses or entrepreneurs within their supply chain
  • Giving advice on how a programme can be customised to meet the enterprise development business objectives and budget
  • Assisting with the recruitment and selection of high-calibre entrepreneurs and small business owners for training programmes
Benefits of enterprise development for organisations:

  • Enterprise Development counts a minimum of 40 points towards the B-BBEE scorecard
  • Contributes toward supplier efficiency and sustainability
  • Enhanced diversity within the company supply chain
  • Improved ability to procure from SMMEs
  • Enhanced brand awareness and loyalty
  • Enhanced reputational capital​​

How we help entrepreneurs

​We equip entrepreneurs with business knowledge and support that enables them to build strong and profitable businesses that are able to employ more people in the future. Our programmes are designed, taught and supported based on the individual needs of their business. We provide a stimulating environment that fosters a culture of entrepreneurial innovation and entrepreneurs have access to business advice from industry specialists during mentorship and coaching sessions. We provide peer learning, networking and alumni opportunities​ among other benefits.

Benefits to the Entrepreneur

  • Potential increase in revenue and profitability
  • Opportunity for business to grow as business systems are enhanced
  • Increase in the number of people employed in the business means increased production capacity
  • Entrepreneurs are able to access market and finance opportunities.
If you are an entrepreneur with a good business idea or you are an existing business owner and would be interested in attending a programme at the Academy, please complete the Expression of Interest Questionnaire. By completing this form, you may be called to apply for a particular programme at a later stage.​

​What happens next?

  • Entrepreneurs will be selected from the database according to particular criteria and will be asked to submit further detail about their businesses and supporting documentation
  • Selected entrepreneurs will be called for an interview
  • After the interview phase, applicants will be notified of the outcome.​

Our Offering

The Academy offers clients and participants value through the following delivery structure:

Versatile, tailor-made programmes

  • Customised curriculum and support services are tailored to the industry and size of the business
  • Programme content is taught in a relevant and engaging manner by industry specialists and educators with experience of being entrepreneurs themselves
  • Curriculum and support services are developed from research and observation of the business needs
Programme structure
​​​​The Academy designs programmes for entrepreneurs that are relevant to different stages of their business life-cycle:
Groundwork Programme (for start-up businesses) and Growth Advancement Programme (for scale-up businesses). Each programme is customised to address challenges entrepreneurs face at these specific stages. In doing so, the entrepreneur is able to mitigate factors that could affect the growth or sustainability of their business. ​Delegates on the programmes are exposed to seminars, workshops, field visits and team challenges. The support structure provides mentorship and coaching, business advisory support, peer learning opportunities and access to networking events.

Level of intensity and duration

Customised interventions created for each sponsored programme fall under one of the following broad frameworks:

Mentorship and coaching for entrepreneurs

  • Support and advisory services help delegates apply concepts from the academic part of the programme to improve their business management skills and grow their business
  • Mentorship and coaching sessions include face-to-face, telephonic and group discussion sessions that aim to support, develop and challenge delegates
Get involved
​​The role of a mentor or advisor is to:

  • Help the entrepreneur apply the concepts covered in the academic component of the programme. The aim is to help the entrepreneur improve business management practices to grow the business.
  • Contribute as a thought partner to the small business owner
  • Support, develop, stimulate and challenge the entrepreneur.
Who qualifies to be a volunteer mentor or advisor?

  • An experienced entrepreneur.
  • Middle to senior manager.
  • A retired professional.
  • A management consultant.
  • Professional mentor or coach.
  • MBA/Entrepreneurship graduates and students.
What are the skills needed to be a mentor or advisor?

  • The ability to listen and offer encouragement or sympathy.
  • Respect for others’ views and opinions.
  • A supportive but “hands-off” approach which allows the entrepreneur to make his or her own decisions.
The benefits of volunteering?

  • Personal satisfaction in your contribution to building a stronger South African economy, through transferring your skills to those who need it.
  • Enhancing your personal development, leadership and coaching skills.
How do you volunteer?

Should you want to volunteer to give support in the areas listed below, please contact us on 011 771 4100 or email ​​academy@gibs.co.za.
  • Decision making.
  • Business Management.
  • Sales and Marketing.
  • Production Management.
  • Procurement.
  • Business Administration.

Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation

  • Detailed reports are provided to sponsors based on research, monitoring and evaluation that demonstrate the economic and social impact of programmes

Wide network of resources and expertise

  • Access to expertise from faculty, heads of complimentary programmes and industry specialists
  • Access to extensive networks of enterprise development partners, entrepreneurs, financiers, media and government

Superior customer service

  • We form close partnerships with clients and delegates by collaborating and communicating regularly before, during and after the various programme stages. This is to ensure that the relevant objectives are met and maximum value is achieved during all development efforts ​

Contact us

Enterprise Development Academy
Tel: (011) 771 4000 / (011) 771 4101
Email: academy@gibs.co.za

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