GIBS Enterprise Development Academy receives award for Most Innovative Training Programme

Posted on May 26, 2015

The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Enterprise Development Academy (EDA) received the award for Most Innovative Training Programme in recognition of its National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) GIBS Women Empowerment Programme at the Women in Construction Awards, held on 13 May at the Sandton Convention Centre. The awards, now in their third year, celebrate women’s excellence in various categories related to the construction sector.

A key focus area for the GIBS EDA is empowering underserved entrepreneurs, especially women, by providing business education and support to enable them to develop sustainable, efficient and profitable enterprises that are able to employ more people. Yogavelli Nambiar, Director of the GIBS EDA, said: ‘It is critical, in the current economic climate, to create more sustainable businesses in order to fuel economic growth and help create more jobs. Studies have shown that investment in the education and empowerment of women has a greater impact as it translates to better-educated children, healthier families and a “pay-it-forward” philosophy within their communities. The NHBRC GIBS Women Empowerment Programme is an initiative that provides women entrepreneurs with the tools to develop their business potential and to create that impact. It is especially significant in that it seeks to work with women entrepreneurs in a very male-dominated industry.’

Together with the NHBRC, GIBS developed and customised the programme for women entrepreneurs in the construction industry. About 100 women who own construction-related businesses are taken through a ten-month programme that includes business skills training, mentorship, coaching, access to finance and new markets, as well as peer learning opportunities. Training and modules are customised based for the particular challenges and requirements of the industry, and include practical support that facilitates application of the lessons learned in class.

Nambiar added, ‘The Academy was created to support the growth of new and existing businesses that will contribute towards building the country and addressing unemployment. This award is significant for us as it strengthens our ongoing commitment to developing innovative and impactful programmes for entrepreneurs, specifically those who have been marginalised or underserved.’

- Author GIBS News

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