The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Garden Route, George, Knysna

Empowering Entrepreneurs: Seda and SANParks Launch Business Development Programme in Celebration of 30 Years of Democracy

Michael Hawthorne

Garden Route – In commemoration of South Africa’s 30 years of democracy, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and South African National Parks (SANParks) have joined forces to introduce a groundbreaking Business Development Programme. This initiative aims to empower and uplift a total of 110 small commercial operators, concessionaires, and Biodiversity Social Projects (BSP) contractors within the enchanting Garden Route National Park.

This pioneering pilot project, conducted in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, is set to breathe new life into the local economy by providing support to a diverse range of businesses. Among the participants are operators involved in zipline activities, food vendors, car wash services, water-based commercial ventures, and restaurants.

The cornerstone of this program is a comprehensive needs analysis, which will be conducted for each participating Small, Medium, and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs). The outcomes of this analysis will lay the foundation for a meticulously crafted implementation plan, ensuring that the support provided is tailored to the unique requirements of each business.

Aligned with the District Development Model (DDM) outcomes, this collaborative effort symbolizes a united front between various levels of government and entities working harmoniously towards a common goal. By fostering an impact-oriented and cooperative relationship, the Business Development Programme seeks to create sustainable opportunities for local entrepreneurs in the Garden Route.

Commenting on the initiative, the spokesperson for SANParks stated, “This project underscores our commitment to community-driven economic development. By supporting these small enterprises, we are not only enriching the entrepreneurial landscape but also contributing significantly to the overall prosperity of local communities.”

The participating entities anticipate that the initiative will not only boost the economic prospects of the Garden Route but also serve as a model for similar projects nationwide. As South Africa celebrates three decades of democracy, this Business Development Programme stands as a testament to the nation’s dedication to fostering inclusivity, economic growth, and community development.

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