Following the success of our small business mentorship programme last year, we are taking it to another level and expanding it to include more mentors and mentees.
Last year, the Thebe Foundation roped in eight executives from Thebe and some of our subsidiary companies to assist in mentoring 10 business owners, who were participants in the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Small Business Enrichment Programme (SBEP) sponsored by the foundation.
This year, the mentorship programme is being opened up to more SBEP graduates and Thebe executives.
Mokgethi Tshabalala, CEO of the Thebe Foundation, informed the Thebe Times that the foundation is looking for 20 Thebe executives to mentor 20 more graduates.
“Some of the 10 mentees that were on the programme last year will continue with the mentorship this year. In the next phase of the programme, we will put more emphasis on helping the business owners to understand the numbers and improve the financial performance of their businesses,” explains Mokgethi.
An advert has already been sent out directly to all the 120 graduates of the SBEP calling them to participate in the mentorship programme, which will run for up to 12 months
Mokgethi says the programme will facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge from a mentor (one with experience in business) to a mentee (business owner who will be improving/acquiring skills) through guidance and coaching.
Agnes Nkosana, one of the current mentees, is full of praise of the programme and says it has added “invaluable” experience to her.
She says her mentor Henry Flint, Thebe Stockbroking chief economist, has helped her improve the performance of her construction company, Nkomaba Trading & Projects.
“He assists me a lot with employing new staff. My mentor has assisted me with drawing up financial statements for the business and he always assists me promptly,” she reveals.
Another mentee, Grace Gatsheni, who owns Grace Opha Laundry & Cleaning Services, is grateful for the mentoring she received from Roy Martine, the financial director of Thebe Services Division.
“Roy helped me develop my skills and taught me how to do a general ledger and record all the cash flow,” she says.
Mokgethi is also grateful for the outstanding work by the Thebe executives and is hopeful that their contribution is making a difference in growing the SMME sector in South Africa.
Thebe Foundation would like to send out a special thank you to the following mentors:
- Henry Flint (chief economist: Thebe Stockbroking)
- Saleem Symallin (interim CEO: Thebe Stockbroking)
- Boitumelo Sekwababe (CEO: Thebe Energy)
- Roy Martine (financial director: Thebe Services Division)
- Jerry Mabena (CEO: Thebe Services Division)
- Rohan Laird (CEO: Thebe Ya Bophelo)
- Mangaliso Mahlaba (COO: Thebe Ya Bophelo)
- Marylin Lewis (former commercial director: Thebe Tourism Group)