More than 4.3 million people who form part of the potential work force in South Africa do not have work and are not earning a regular income. Poverty is a major threat to South Africa's social fabric.
Through its E³ initiative (Enterprise Enabling Environment), Learn to Earn (LtE) is making a determined effort to encourage entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. E³'s vision is to create a 3 year project-based mentorship programme that nurtures and equips entrepreneurial LtE graduates with sound technical and business skills to ensure a healthy approach to business.
The main challenge faced by graduates pursuing their own business, is that once they have completed the skills training & business skills courses, they often struggle to apply the newly learnt business principles in growing and sustaining their ventures. This results in the failure or lack of growth of their new entrepreneurial businesses. Learn to Earn's E³'s programme provides in-depth training and mentoring support to ensure success.
The aim of E³ is to facilitate an environment for emerging businesses through:
- hands-on mentoring and
- access to shared services
These shared services assist in providing advice, information and templates on business-related issues such as:
- legal matters,
- training and
- staffing & human resource management
Each selected mentee is partnered with a business skills and a technical skills mentor who has enjoyed success in their industry. Weekly meetings are held nurturing each entrepreneur so that they are able to up-skill themselves both in a business environment and operationally.
To assist in developing each entrepreneur to fully benefit from the 3-year mentoring programme, a performance feedback system is used to monitor the extent of value instilled into each entrepreneur and the value secured within their business.
This is based on mentor sessions and challenges that the entrepreneur completes as part of weekly report and follows up sessions. Goal setting and 360 degree feedback reviews are held every twelve weeks so that any additional interventions can be identified timeously and individual mentoring tailored to suit the needs of both the entrepreneur as well as the needs of the entrepreneurs business.
Among the benefits the entrepreneurs enjoy, is access to both start-up and on-going finance, thus enabling them to develop their businesses without the constraint of a lack of finance, which has been shown to be one of the major obstacles to the growth of small business.