We often hear that offering support to entrepreneurs from rural areas is very challenging, which may range from small-scale agricultural businesses to well-established tourism destinations. But is it true that a different approach is needed by business support practitioners when they work in rural areas?
This is the focus of the upcoming episode in the Small Business Development Practitioner Webinar Series, presented by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA) and the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute (EPI).
The guest who will share her experiences and insights during this Continuous Professional Development (CPD) event will be Carien Taute from the Hoedspruit Hub. She works on a daily basis with rural and agricultural entrepreneurs… from those needing direction in setting up vegetable gardens to fair-sized tourism businesses needing to take a new turn to survive and grow.
“Rural and township businesses are not much different from their urban counterparts as they are also mostly owner-managed and battling with the same challenges, but there are indeed factors that make it more difficult for practitioners to support them as the resources are less and the markets more difficult to reach,” says Taute.
“I would say no, there is not a huge difference in the approach you may follow when it comes to agricultural, rural and township small business support; but the conditions are less forgiving and challenges are more acute, so you really have to be tuned into helping your clients to achieve quick results, when it comes to addressing these conditions. In most cases your task is to help them to focus on what must happen next,” she says.
“Using project management principles to support rural, townships & agricultural small businesses”
Thursday 14 October 2021 at 11h30
<< BOOK HERE >>
Taute combines her training and experience in project management with what she gained from her Masters Degree in business coaching. She says: “In project management, we focus on what to look at, who must do what by when, and how it must be done. This provides a straightforward framework for using with rural entrepreneurs and when combined with a coaching approach, you have all the methods available that you need to help your client to move forward with the business.”
Coaching, Taute notes, is not about feeding the client with information or directing them towards specific tasks. It is about asking the right questions so that what your client already knows and understands is validated and applied towards achieving results. This is a preferred way of supporting your clients, except when what they need is knowledge. For this practitioners need to direct their clients towards the best sources of information.
“In rural areas, access to information may be a bigger challenge than in cities, but it is now much easier as you can just provide your client with a link and they can look up the details of the information on the internet themselves,” she says.
During the upcoming webinar, Taute will share project planning templates that are suitable for use with small business clients, even for those clients operating informal businesses in rural areas. Practitioners who attend this CPD webinar for free by registering with the link provided below.
- To join the upcoming CPD webinar you can << REGISTER HERE >>.
- Attend and you will receive a free planning template and be able to test it with a few other attendees.
- Christoff Oosthuysen is the webinar host, Founding CEO of the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute (EPI) and General Partner at Seed South Capital.