UCT course gets entrepreneurs out of the blocks


Budding entrepreneurs considering starting their own business and business leaders who want a guide to new project development have the chance to get their wheels in motion with a brand new course launching at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) this July.

The course, Build Your Own Business, is the distillation of years of experience with new venture development at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the UCT GSB, and will be run by the School?s Executive Education unit, which was recently rated in the global top ten for its short courses by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

According to Mike Herrington, Director of the CIE and designer of the new course, it offers the comprehensive set of skills needed to enable people to prepare a business plan for a new venture and fully understand how and where to raise finance.

"This is a unique course that is responding to a real need in the South Africa in particular. There are many people with good ideas but lack the skills and confidence, and similarly many who have skills but need their ideas whipped into shape - this programme is an all-round guide to getting things up and running,' explained Herrington.

As an all-round programme, the curriculum guides individuals through several core stages of new venture development: understanding the success and failure factors for small to medium businesses; creating an idea; strategic business planning; starting a business; raising funds for a venture; internationalisation; and team building.

Herrington added that he would also provide insight on evaluating an existing business and assessing its sale value.

The launch of the programme coincides with the release recently of the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) South Africa Report, conducted by the CIE, which emphasised the dire need for training of this nature.

According to GEM, South Africa has the lowest entrepreneurial rate of all the developing countries in the study. In addition, many South African start-ups struggle to develop to a more established stage.

The report also emphasises that entrepreneurship and developing new businesses will be key to job creation and economic development in the country.

"The report shows that our entrepreneurs need the right guidance in order to bring their ideas to life and make a success of their ventures. This course really gets to the heart of addressing this need,' said Herrington.

Build Your Own Business will run over two modules, each lasting three days - the first from 3 - 5 July, and the second from 24 - 26 July.

For more information contact the UCT GSB on (021) 406 1346 or tracym@gsb.uct.ac.za.