Stakeholder experiences of the Ilima trust's coaching and mentoring of women small- and medium- enterprise owners

Van Niekerk, G. D. (2011-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.


Low economic growth, high unemployment and debilitating poverty pose a major threat to the social fabric of South Africa. Entrepreneurship and the establishment of small businesses play a key role in stimulating the South African economy, creating jobs, uplifting living standards and overcoming the injustices of poverty. Compared with other developing economies, South Africa (SA) has one of the lowest entrepreneurial activity rates. Women small- and medium- enterprise (SME) owners, and particularly those from previously disadvantaged socio-economic communities, play a vital role in addressing this situation. There are a number of initiatives aimed at building the capacity of women SME owners in SA. The ILIMA Trust is one such initiative which, through its coaching and mentoring programme, supports women SME owners who come from previously disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, to start up and grow their enterprises. The work of the Trust is primarily focused on such women SME owners who receive financial loans from Masisizane, a sister company of the Trust. This research study aims to establish the stakeholder experiences of the ILIMA Trust‟s coaching and mentoring programme of Masisizane women SME owners and to identify ways in which it can be improved. The case study provides an in-depth description of the stakeholders‟ experiences of the ILIMA Trust‟s coaching and mentoring of the Masisizane SME owners. Several strengths of the coaching and mentoring programme are reported. Areas of improvement are pointed out and recommendations are made to strengthen the programme.

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