Acquire Business Skills to Win (ABSW) Programme is a brainchild of Kwetso Foundation, which was conceptualized during the provision of our services in local communities. This programme took shape amid our exposure to formidable challenges facing youth and women-led co-operative in rural areas. It is from that premise that the idea to conceptualize the ABSW Programme mentioned above evolved. That observation led us to realize the importance to intensify the assessment of the social and economic challenges that are faced by these communities. The primary aim was to really understand the fundamental cause and factors that subject these organizations not to grow, prosper and fulfill their business vision and mandate.

We have discovered that there are social and economic factors that put these organizations and its management/committee in a disadvantage to prosper and grow. Furthermore, these challenges are a stumbling block that has been in existence for quite some time. The assumption of our ABSW programme is to attempt to transform this landscape.

From our investigation we have identified the following, as social and economic challenges affecting these organizations especially Cooperatives:

  • Lack of necessary Business, Marketing and Financial Management skills for Cooperative Management/ Committee which also leads to lack to information and exposure to opportunities.
  • Cooperative Business Image. Lack of knowledge and understanding of the importance of business image; to maintain professionalism at all times to attract potential clients.
  • No or lack of access to Internet Services
  • No mentoring and continuous motivation to the Cooperatives management/ committee at all times for continuous improvement
  • Lack of market linkages. The cooperatives are not registered on the government Central Supplier Database (CSD) as service providers including on the Supplier Database of the Local Municipalities, Local Mining Companies and Supermarkets.
  • Lack of basic and advanced Computer skills.
  • Personal Development. The need to develop the mind attitude change, self-esteem and confidence of the cooperative management including equipping them with the necessary life skills. Passion and Dedication to success exist amongst the Cooperatives management/committee.
  • Political sabotage. Many of the Cooperatives indicated that they are being politically sabotaged and deprived opportunities and support from the Local and Provincial spheres of government because they are not politically connected to local politicians or leaders.

These Cooperatives do not only focus on agriculture business and supply of agriculture products, but provide other services such as Cleaning, Gardening, Confectionary and Catering. In our mission we also discovered that there are also Women and Youth who are doing small businesses in various sectors providing services of supplying perishable food and confectionary, but face the struggle of growth, survival and sustainability. The challenges are lack of capacity, lack of business basic and technical skills as well as no access to information and markets. All these challenges displace and disposition them to enter local and national economic streams with confidence.

ABSW Programme is therefore an intervention that is geared to provide these cooperatives with business knowledge and technical skills to economically grow and thrive.

ABSW Programme is underpinned by the set of values that are mentioned below:

  • Care and Respect
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Patriotism
  • Humanity
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economic inclusion
  • Financial resilience

This programme is intended for youth and women-led businesses (especially co-operatives) in rural areas that are in rural provinces in South Africa. The success in one province will be expanded and be rippled into other provinces. Assistance and support of this programme by any organization, an individual or government agency will be highly appreciated by Kwetso Foundation.