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Skills Development.

At ProServ South Africa it is our focus to offer Sustainable Skills Development Solutions. We offer skills development and support services to emerging enterprises in a variety of sectors. With this in mind, we developed a specific model and support services for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) that focuses on removing the 3 key issues SMME see as barriers for growth:

1. Skills development through a SETA certified programme (Certificate in New Venture Creation level 4, additional short courses and an individual mentorship programme

2. Creating an environment in which the SMMEs have market access through workshop with horizontal (associations) and vertical (suppliers and clients) stakeholders and an active support approach to get new SMMEs involved in the supply chain of larger businesses

3. Creating access to finance through workshops with private equity institutions and banks in order to ensure that SMMEs are able to provide the information needed to raise capital

The models below deal with key needs of SMMEs in the first year of their existence and is based on the provision of the support services by seasoned SMME development coaches and consultants: Click the Image to Enlarge.

enterpriseSkills Development







  • Diagnostic analysis of enterprises; we use a diagnostic analysis which is tried and tested and provides us with a very detailed picture of the current business in start-up phase. It assesses all key aspects such as alignment with legislation, skills development levels, human resources and organisational structure, the direct environment of the business, access to finance and networks and linkages to other clients and suppliers.
  • Based on this, we create focused training interventions, which consist of both short courses and a certificate programme (Certificate in New Venture Creation, level 4). The NVC certificate leads to SETA certification for competent candidates and deals with topics such as legalities, human resources, marketing and sales, finances for SMMEs and business administration. The short courses are often related to preparing businesses to be able to link to Supply chains, ensuring SMMEs are able to meet specific procurement criteria of large organisation
  • As every SMME will find him or herself in a unique situation classroom support often does not address the direct challenges of an individual business owner. We therefore link the training to a custom-made mentorship programme, involving experienced mentors. The mentors ensure that based on an individual mentoring plan monthly objectives are identified and that the entrepreneur is supported in breaking down the barriers to success.
  • No SMME is able to survive if it operates in a vacuum. Therefore Market access support services, providing the SMMEs the opportunities to create business linkages and Access to finance services, are two key pillars which we add to the programme. These workshops and support services ensure that SMMEs start to interact with peers, potential clients, suppliers and finance providers in their industry and geographical area.

The following services are offered either to the emerging enterprises directly, or as assistance programmes.

Programme set-up:
This is the Preparatory stage of the programme where IDCs expectations and deliverables are clearly defined, frameworks developed, communications agreed upon and work plans are signed-off.
The team will together with IDC representatives develop guidelines to inform a selection of SMMEs. The guidelines will also consider destination profile, market trends and needs in determining the candidates for the Mentorship programme. The following methodology is proposed, but completely open for amendments based on IDCs requirements.
Small business traditionally experience and deal with growth on a day-to-day basis, and often find their businesses lacking the corporatisation required to take it to the next level. Our business advisory experts have developed a number of tools to assess the status of business processes and institutional capacity. This assessment will identify the areas requiring intervention and support. This will result in each business within the programme having an individual Intervention Plan.
ProServ South Africa has an extensive database of experienced mentors. The selection of the Mentor to suit the needs of the Mentees is the critical success factor.
ProServ South Africa will develop:

  • Mentor Profiles
  • Key Performance indicators that lead to a successful programme
  • Performance agreements
  • These are organic and allow for the Profile to be developed in line with the Mentees requirements.

Mentors will be identified:

Our experience informs our selection. Criteria used include, inter alia:

  • Experience running a similar business;
  • Currently not engaged in business that is competitive to the mentees business;
  • Has the passion to do the job;
  • Has the time available often the ideal mentor is a busy person;
  • Preferred mentor is a preferential procurement client that is a business that seeks to buy products or services from the mentees business and therefore interested in contributing to the Enterprises development. This is a win-win proposition as the Mentors business also gains not only from increased efficiencies but also in terms of the BBEEE Codes of Good Practice.
Once the mentor and mentees have been identified and matched, ProServ South Africa will conduct an Orientation and Induction Programme for all. The objectives of the session are:

  • The programme outcomes are shared
  • Expectations of the mentor and mentee are synergised
  • The codes of conduct are understood
  • Communication framework is shared
  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting process explained; and more importantly
  • Creates a platform for mentees and mentors to network.
The results from the diagnostic and demand-side analysis will inform the Business Growth Plans. The plan will include areas to be addressed in organisations on the threshold of growth. These include:

  • The business administrative capacity;
  • Marketing imperatives including the channel;
  • Product packaging and pricing;
  • Financial/Funding implications;
  • Quality Management;
  • Investment potential opportunities for acquisitions for a particular business in order to take it to scale;
  • Training & Development framework.
This is the stage where the training, capacity building and growth potential of the business is undertaken. The menu of interventions will vary depending on the diagnostic report of the business, and budget set aside for this.

The elements of the BBDEE Codes of Good practice will be interrogated for the benefit of these businesses. Where opportunity exists for empowerment transactions the ProServ South Africa team will explore these for the mentees business.

The need to network within the sector is important, but not an end in itself. Our team will develop a networking framework for each business. The framework will go beyond the industry specific forums and also include the wider market. This takes away the focus on networking with your competitors only, but rather with where the buyers are located.
ProServ South Africa prides itself on having solid project management skills and processes in place. Our monitoring and evaluation will take place through various mechanisms, based on the requirements from IDC:

  • Monthly meetings to derive progress reports from each candidate business;
  • Independent feedback mechanisms in place these to be discussed with businesses;
  • Business Management Reports;
  • Business trend analysis to include, amongst others – numbers, turnover, & cost management.

Our ProServ South Africa team has developed Monitoring and Evaluation tools to measure progress and will play an expert role in this regard.


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