A two-month programme for entrepreneurs was launched yesterday in Coromandel at the initiative of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), the first of its kind to see all agencies for SMEs come together for a common agenda.

Organised in collaboration with National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC) and the National Institute for Cooperative Entrepreneurship (NICE), this training aims to provide needs-based, innovative and tailor-made training to entrepreneurs that will respond to the present needs of women and youth.

The inter agency collaborative training programme covers 18 modules and will see the participation of 15 entrepreneurs. The training is geared towards providing sustainable growth to SMEs and achieving new strategic objectives in the global economy.

The programme consists of three main components, namely the Build Your Business Programme (covering 14 modules), the Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Programme by NWEC, and the Cooperative Entrepreneurship Development Programme by NICE.

Other themes on the agenda are: shaping my destiny; creating my business; exploring the market; determining financial risks and goals; researching the market; making the sale; reaching potential customers; obtaining and developing my workforce; expanding my business.

Participants will also get information regarding business services available for SMEs and the refund schemes for participation in fairs, amongst others.

Through this training, SMEs will learn how to launch and sustain businesses, develop a better awareness of their capabilities and limitations, and develop ideas on how they can keep learning and improving their capabilities.

In his address, Jim Seetaram, Mauritius’ Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, pointed out that the launching of this programme is yet another step towards boosting coordination among organisations catering for SMEs.

“A number of institutions have over the years been set up in view of providing the required momentum to boost enterprises so that they become more productive and competitive,” he said, adding that this results in duplication of services across different organisations with SME-focus.

In a bid to ensure better coordination among the various SME support organisations in Mauritius, an Inter-Agency Coordination Committee has been set up at the Ministry.

“The ultimate outcome of the committee would be more efficient business development services to the entrepreneurs and other stakeholders,” the minister added.

Speaking about the schemes in favour of SMEs, Seetaram expressed his disappointment that many entrepreneurs come out frustrated as they are aware of existing opportunities but cannot readily benefit from them.

“There is need for more coordination among agencies providing support to SMEs,” he said.

Mireille Martin, Mauritius’ Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, said that entrepreneurship is the engine of economic change and that the government encourages the promotion and development of SMEs.

According to her, many women lack self-confidence and there are still many barriers to overcome and ensure their participation in various sectors.

“It is therefore important to provide specific and constant support to them,” she said.

Women must be increasingly involved as active agents of development, said the minister, while highlighting that they have the right to equal opportunities and training.

She further expressed confidence that this tailor-made training programme will better equip entrepreneurs to manage their enterprises and that it will prepare them for the changing climate in entrepreneurship, helping them stay motivated to achieve their goals and raising their managerial skills.

Image (www.gov.mu): Entrepreneurs at a Trade Fair organized by the National Women Entrepreneur Council. Mauritius’ Minister of Gender Equality, Mireille Martin, said that entrepreneurship is the engine of economic change and that the government encourages the promotion and development of SMEs.

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