Masterclass for iLembe entrepreneurs as new partnership brings new opportunities

A new partnership with GIBS Business School is the focus of 2020’s iLembe Entrepreneur showcase, as 20 past finalists seek to hone their business expertise.

The Entrepreneurs of the Decade programme, as it is known this year, was launched via Zoom by the iLembe Chamber of Commerce last week.

The programme is being held in place of the popular Entrepreneur Competition which has run for the past 9 years, rewarding excellence in entrepreneurship in the iLembe district.

This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ilembe Chamber decided to change the format and instead invest in 20 finalists from the past 9 years.

Ilembe Chamber of Commerce CEO Cobus Oelofse said this would also allow them time to rejuvenate the programme.

The partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) will provide the 20 finalists with 4 masterclass sessions, getting advice and ideas from the expert guest speakers.

“We are very excited to partner with the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce and have designed an individualised programme for the businesses involved,” said GIBS Entrepreneurship Development Academy director Miranda Hosking.

The masterclasses will run weekly via Zoom over the next month, and will be a valuable resource for the finalists as they negotiate the difficult landscape that the coronavirus pandemic has created. 

The success of these businesses in the local economy was crucial, said Chamber vice-president, Lesa Bradshaw. 

“Entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of the local economy in a difficult time as they are adaptable and able to find new paths to success,” she said.

The programme will culminate in a showcase of a video series created to give exposure to the finalists.

In partnership with the Courier and other sponsors of the event, the series will feature profiles of the businesses involved and help them to create a digital footprint.

The exhibition will be held live on October 29, and members of the public will be able to join via Zoom.

The meeting code will be released closer to the date on the iLembe Chamber of Commerce’s social media platforms.