2021 drew to a close and with it, the WILDLANDS’ Rural Sustainable Enterprise Development and Skills Strengthening Programme, funded by the Walmart Foundation.
The programme is a three-year small business skills training grant which WILDLANDS obtained in 2018 from the Walmart Foundation, to upskill and develop the community members from the rural areas in which WILDLANDS work to pursue the Trusts’ vision of a thriving and resilient world.
In the final year of the project, 54 individuals completed 8 Unit Standards of New Venture Creation training. This group consisted of individuals employed doing restoration work through the Natural Resource Management (NRM) programme funded by Department of Fisheries Forests and the Environment (DEFF).
As a final step in their training, the individuals presented their business ideas to the team. With the support received from the Walmart Foundation, each learner was awarded stock to kick start their businesses within their communities.
“Over the duration of the programme, 180 small business owners have been supported in 6 peri-urban and rural communities: eSikhawini, Kwambonambi, Dukuduku, Sokhulu, KwaJobe and Gumbi. Each small business owner has received training, a start-up stock award and mentorship as they start their business journey. This programme has been a great way to help reinvigorate local community economies and encourage entrepreneurial community members to move forward with their business ideas,” Samantha Smith of WILDLANDS concluded.