Following the completion of the PwC Faranani Rural Women Training Course, women from previously disadvantaged communities were awarded their certificates at a virtual graduation ceremony.
Annually, PwC builds the skills of more than a hundred underprivileged women from rural areas throughout the country through the Business Skills of South Africa (BSSA) foundation to provide business and entrepreneurial skills to previously disadvantaged communities in order to create jobs, promote sustainability and increase wealth.
In 1992, PwC and the National Industrial Chamber established the Business Skills for South Africa (BSSA) Foundation to provide business and entrepreneurial skills to previously disadvantaged communities. In 2006, PwC extended this further to rural women in business through an initiative called the Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative. The aim of this project is to unlock the business potential of rural women and empower them to generate their own income and become meaningful contributors to the South African economy.
Shirley Machaba, CEO for PwC Southern Africa and Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative National Director, says:
“PwC is committed to the upliftment of women in South Africa and firmly believes that by inculcating a culture of entrepreneurship amongst women, it can help to empower them to generate their own income and become meaningful contributors to the South African economy.
“At PwC, our purpose it to build trust in society and solve important problems, and in line with the understanding that inequality, poverty and unemployment are some of the most pressing issues facing our country at present, we believe that these are some of the areas where we can help make a difference.”
This comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep-rooted inequalities in social, health and economic systems, and has demonstrated the importance of the unique skills that women bring to societies.
Women’s Month also serves a reminder of the urgency for closing global and local economic gender imbalances. The economic reasons alone support the case for expediting our progress towards female gender equality. Efforts by corporates and government to promote gender equality and female participation in the economy can generate significant economic gains for the country.
The Faranani programme trains rural women in practical business skills such as developing a business plan, pricing and costing, financial management skills, and marketing. Aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills, this programme looks to support women who have the drive and desire to become business owners by providing them with the necessary know-how to get started – moving from survival to SMME status.
The project has been rolled out across the country, in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, with BSSA providing training as well as three months of mentorship and after-care support.
By the end of 2019, 3 659 women had been through the Faranani training, with 325 women completing their training by the end of 2020.
Faranani graduates who have started their own entities and acquired their B-BBEE status are involved in small businesses ranging from manufacturing, B&B management, construction, catering, hairdressing, flower arranging, home décor, dress making, agriculture, transport, event management and many more.
The project provides the women with the knowledge to start-up and manage their own businesses. Over several days, the women are taught how to develop a business plan, which is supported by cash flow and profit forecasts, financial projections, marketing, financial management, pricing and costing, and business management.
Annually, PwC contributes R2,4m to BSSA, of which R1,2m is spent on Faranani.
Faranani’s vision is to actively participate in skills development, which has been prioritised by government through various initiatives, including: The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (ASGISA), the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA), the National Development Plan, the National Growth Path, and the Government’s nine-point plan, and many more.
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