Edupreneurs are making education accessible

Access to quality education is a basic human right and small business owners are starting businesses to get communities educated and upskilled.

education
By Fundiswa Nkwanyana

Most townships and rural areas have limited higher education and training institutions, and this puts young people residing in these areas at a disadvantage. The lack of learning facilities makes it difficult for communities to gain new skills and end the poverty cycle. 

 

Government cannot address these challenges alone and entrepreneurs are stepping in to ensure that disadvantaged youth have access to quality education and skills development training.   

 

Starting and running a business in the education sector 

Kgetho Training and Consulting and Salabedla Training Academy are two black female owned social enterprises that are committed to empowering disadvantaged people with skills training. Both entrepreneurs grew up in communities with limited learning opportunities and the challenges they faced motivated them to start their businesses. 

 

Martha Mosiane started Kgetho Training and Consulting in 2008, and she provides affordable and accredited occupational health training in the rural and township areas in the North West and Free State.  “I started my business because higher education institutions are far away and many people in my community lives in poverty,” said Mosiane. Her motivation is to change the narrative that quality education is only available in urban areas.  

 

Gugulethu Ngubane runs a SETA accredited furniture training centre in Umlazi township, KwaZulu Natal called Salabedla Training Academy.  After seeing young people in her township loitering the streets and doing crime because they couldn’t afford to further their studies, she decided to start her business. “It saddens me to see young people not getting opportunities to improve their lives,” said Ngubane.  

 

Entrepreneurs in this sector are important because access to education and skills training can positively contribute to local economic development and end the poverty cycle that many impoverished communities are stuck in.  

 

edication

Creating a positive impact through education 

A lack of access to education in rural and township communities widens the rural-urban divide and makes it difficult for young people to stop the poverty cycle. There is a need for the introduction of more learning facilities because this will benefit communities immensely.  

 

Over the years, both these educational centres have upskilled hundreds of young and old people who now have accredited training.  

 

Kgetho Training and Consulting understands the skills needed by their community. Their business specializes in providing skills development training, educational workshops, and occupational health qualifications. 

 

Reskilling and upskilling training is also available. The community-based centre makes it easier for locals to attend classes because they don’t have to spend a lot of money on travel costs.  

 

Salabedla Training Academy focuses on furniture training and manufacturing. Since inception the business has upskilled more than 800 learners and employed over 7 employees. The business is not only empowering people with new skills but it’s also providing them with skills they can use to start their own business. 

 

These entrepreneurs are using education to empower disadvantaged communities through their small businesses. 

Resilience to overcome challenges 

Running a successful business in the education sector comes with a lot of challenges.  Both these entrepreneurs are constantly finding innovative solutions for their communities.  

 

The ability to pay salaries and rent even when there is no money coming in, is a challenge these entrepreneurs face. “Delayed payment from our students and limited working capital makes running this business difficult,” said Mosiane.  

 

Small businesses often need funding and grants to help them cater to the growing demand. There are loads of young people that are hungry for an opportunity to learn a new skill and the businesses are experiencing an increase demand. “Sometimes, I’m unable to accommodate learners because of my limited infrastructure,” said Ngubane. 

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