Business Skills For South Africa Foundation
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In 1991, senior partners of PwC recognised a need to transfer useful business skills to owner-managers of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), and, based on the British Skills Seminar Programme, the Business Skills for South Africa Foundation (BSSA) was born. PwC approached the National Industrial Chamber (NIC), the manufacturing sector of NAFCOC, to be the founding partner of BSSA, bringing with it an intimate knowledge of the SMME market. The BSSA Foundation was formally established as a non-profit trust early in 1994. BSSA’s focus was initially on SMMEs that were already in business, with a belief that these existing entrepreneurs would improve their operations and, in growing, create viable job opportunities. This view has been substantiated over the years, although the need to also support those wishing to start businesses of their own remains important. BSSA thus trains both start-ups and entrepreneurs aiming to grow their businesses. Over time, new market opportunities have led to an expansion of BSSA’s clients and products, e.g. the training of professionals supporting SMMEs, such as business advisers and mentors. A more recent development has been the request to train staff of various types of business support institutions. BSSA has also, sometimes in partnership with other institutions, developed training programmes focusing on expressed needs of SMMEs.