DIEPSLOOT – Economic Development MMC Leah Knott impressed with township entrepreneurs during her oversight visit at Thlabogolo Opportunity Centre.
Thlabogolo Opportunity Centre in Diepsloot has reignited hope amid desolation in the community, north of Johannesburg.
Small businesses owners in various sectors are using the centre in high numbers. This was revealed recently when the MMC for Economic Development, Leah Knott conducted an oversight visit to gather feedback from the community and staff members.
Knott interacted with small business owners in various sectors including textile, construction, tourism and hospitality. Business owners said they use the centre for a variety of services such as accessing free Internet and meeting rooms to run workshops.
Knott was particularly impressed by a group of entrepreneurs who organised themselves and held a digital marketing workshops. “They did it on their own, people are capable and we need to support them.”
The meeting rooms were made available to the entrepreneurs free of charge.
“I am pleased that the spirit of entrepreneurship has been awakened in Diepsloot. We want people to create opportunities for themselves and not rely on government and we exist to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“The goal of a 5 per cent economic growth can be achieved if we ensure that SMMEs are given the necessary support.”
One small business owner, Peter Molatjane, and also convenor of the Greater Diepsloot SMME Forum, was among a group of 30 small business owners who attended the digital marketing workshop at the centre.
He thanked the City for ensuring the centre is efficient. “We really appreciate the fact that MMC Knott is visiting the centres to ensure that they work and that we benefit as small businesses in Diepsloot and elsewhere.
“There is a hunger for entrepreneurship, we are glad that the centre is offering its services for free. It will go a long way.”
Another entrepreneur, William Konenyane who owns a small construction company, said the centre helped him to register his business. “It was very convenient for me, I did not have to go up and down. I did all the paperwork in the centre and I am impressed with the staff members, they assisted on time.”
The City has opened six other centres across Joburg, specifically in the inner-city, Alexandra, Roodepoort, Soweto, Montclare and Diepsloot. The City also has a business centre in Orange Farm in partnership with Discovery.
The centres offer a variety of services including mentoring workshops to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Various professionals are on hand to offer valuable information to entrepreneurs including linking businesses to opportunities.
Source: Fourways Review