TSiBA’s First Postgraduate Students Get Down to Business
28 May 2013
History was made this week in the South African entrepreneurship arena with the inaugural students beginning their Postgraduate Diploma in Small Enterprise Consulting (PG Dip SEC) - the first postgraduate programme of its kind in South Africa which targets consultants, coaches and mentors working with entrepreneurs instead of the entrepreneur themselves. The 18-month modular part-time course at NQF Level 8 accreditation is currently only available at the Tertiary School in Business Education (TSiBA) and is designed to develop consultants to be more effective coaches and mentors who can effectively support and guide the scale and scope of micro enterprises into small and medium-sized businesses.
“TSiBA noticed a gap in the market for a formalised, academic course aimed specifically at those people who work closely with entrepreneurs and small business owners to develop their businesses to ensure that they are profitable and sustainable. Entrepreneurs need sustained, expert mentorship and coaching to guide their enterprise through both the incubation and growth stage“says Adri Marais, CEO of TSiBA Education. “TSiBA was founded in 2004 as a not-for-profit business school TSiBA’s with the mission of being an innovative learning community which graduates entrepreneurial leaders who ignite opportunity and social change. This is why the PG Dip SEC is such a natural extension to TSiBA’s innovative offerings in helping fulfil this mission”
TSiBA’s Dean, Nolan Beudeker, explains “The South African Total Entrepreneurship Activity (TEA) index is at less than 5% - less than half of any other comparable nation. Entrepreneurial activity fails simply because people do not know what they are doing: entrepreneurs often have no managerial or financial skills and no help, or mentorship. It is also clear from research that most interventions are not successful which is exactly why we are so passionate about the accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Small Enterprise Consulting (PG Dip Sec) which is based on TSiBA’s ten years of experience working with grassroots entrepreneurs and support organisations.”
The PG Dip SEC’s esteemed lecturers were hand-picked for the nine core modules. The group includes Dr. Jonathan Marks Senior Lecturer and Director of the Full Time MBA Programme at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, Dr. Svea van der Hoorn visiting senior lecturer to UCT’s Graduate School of Business and international Consultant, Prof Roy du Pré is the former Vice-Chancellor of Durban University of Science and Technology, with over thirty years’ experience in South African education, Nolan Beudeker Dean of TSiBA and published author and Dr Christo Nel Programme Head of Postgraduate Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch (USB) and the Leadership Development Programme at RIGA Business School in Latvia as well as a visiting lecturer at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.
The first PG Dip SEC class of 2013 hail from around the Western and Eastern Cape comprising Stephen Gweme, Sarah Polonsky, Zithobile Wilfred Nyiki, Adrian Solomons, Brian Pritchard, Pam Sneddon, Brenda Thando Makili and Kiewit Mhlongo. The students come from diverse backgrounds and occupations ranging from NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations), governmental organisations as well as private businesses and consultancies, yet all have the same desire to gain further skills and experience to assist budding entrepreneurs on their road to success. In the words of Prof Roy du Pré “this group are pioneers of the future where students don’t merely go to university to get an education to get a job, but to get an education to create jobs.”
The course’s strong work integrated, practical learning component is modelled around Small Enterprise Consulting and takes place throughout the programme. Students select entrepreneurs for their experiential learning component and consult with their chosen entrepreneur during, and after, each block release of course work. In the process, students understudy the entrepreneurial journey and offer support using acquired tools of business fundamentals, entrepreneurial creativity, leadership, and mentoring and coaching.
It appears many of the students share TSiBA’s vision of ‘Igniting Opportunity’ as many plan to use their Postgraduate studies to make a difference. Brenda Thando Makili, PG Dip SEC student from Cape Town says “I would like to be part of the movement that helps establish a number of successful Entrepreneurs from Grassroots level into successful business owners with a legacy to leave for their kids and generations to follow.”
Another student Pam Sneddon who has fifteen years retail experience and now works in Performance Management & Mentoring at local NGO, The Clothing Bank, told us “I finally feel like I am on the right journey and able to make a difference by using my skills and experience to benefit others. What inspires me most is that it’s often the really simple suggestions we can make that make a huge difference to their businesses and in turn their lives. I am excited about this new course at TSiBA which will hopefully add to this knowledge and allow me to take myself and The Clothing Bank to a new level in bringing about change in our community.”
The course consists of nine core modules including a practical learning component. Core modules include: Entrepreneurship, Applied Coaching and Mentoring, Entrepreneurial Finance, Leadership and Self Development, Business Communication and Information Management, Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business and Small Enterprise Consulting. Electives include Global Entrepreneurial Business and Social Entrepreneurship. The course is accredited (H/PR190/E003CAN) and is worth 120 credits which is the stipulated criteria for application for further studies into relevant Masters Programmes. TSiBA is a registered, accredited institution (No 2007/HE08/001).
PG Dip SEC is a “paid-for” course, but all course fees will be ploughed back into TSiBA to cover scholarships for more students. In terms of Enterprise Development, TSiBA’s integrated model, which includes the TSiBA Fund, enables TSiBA to effectively serve as an ‘empowerment portal’. TSiBA educates entrepreneurs and works together with partners to offer solutions that address every one of the seven pillars of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Codes of Good Practice. The three main areas that may be applicable in line with PG Dip SEC include: Skills Development, Enterprise Development and Corporate Social Development.
The photo caption: Left to right
Tyson Wadeley, TSiBA Mathematics Lecturer, Adri Marais TSiBA CEO, Postgrad students Stephen Gweme, Sarah Polonsky & Pam Sneddon, Reidwaan Jawoodeen TSiBA Management Anchor, Thando Makili Postgrad student, Nolan Beudeker TSiBA Dean & Peter Kraan TSiBA CFO