In Eric Parker's book "Road Map to Business Success", he says that "Entrepreneurship requires courage, passion, commitment and a level-headed approach to life."
He is absolutely right of course but this is far tougher than it seems. When Ari Seirlis, Director of QASA, applied to take on 75 learners with disabilities in Johannesburg to participate in a new venture creation learnership, he knew that taking on such a challenge would not only be pushing the boundries to ensure gainful employment but also to ensure that 75 learners from the disability sector would be successful.
The learners are based at Busitech at the University of Johannesburg where they have a classroom allocated to them.
The learners range in experience, access to schooling, disabilities and ideas. This however does not impact on the passion they have to learn.
During the disruptions on the University's campus in February, the learners were most perturbed to be told that they were to leave the campus and return when the disruptions were over. They were adamant that they were there to learn and were most upset by the students causing the disruptions. That is commitment.
The time is ripe for our learners to be successful though. Trevor Manuel's new budget provides a platform for the growth of SMEs and particularly entrepreneurs. It is in this vein that our learners are particularly well placed in terms of timing. Their businesses should be up and running well before the end of the year thereby ensuring their place in the economy. One of the greatest frustrations for small business is the inability to sell their services or to let other companies know that they exist. Part of the Amasondo Esibindi learnership includes assisting learners with this component of their business through various initiatives. QASA is currently in the process of forming partnerships with various organisations to ensure that the learners receive the best possible opportunities.
However, although the road to success for this project is one of support, it is still a long road. The learning path for all involved has been steep and one that will ensure that future projects run based on lessons learnt. We look forward to buying services from our learners and challenge everyone out there to do the same.