Kuba, an online ecosystem for small business development, has announced the launch of a new Job Booster programme aimed at accelerating job creation through supporting and empowering micro-enterprises in South Africa.

The company says they secured funding in September 2020, and signed an agreement with Job Booster, an international youth employment program driven by the Woord en Daad Foundation in the Netherlands.

The pilot programme will equip 50 entrepreneurs with business training via Kuba’s online courses as well as access to their GrowMyBiz Starter kit.

This programme comes after the introduction of lockdown regulations, where companies were forced to pivot in order to stay ahead of the curve. Jacques Sibomana, founder and managing director of Kuba, says: “We believed that the lockdown regulations presented an opportunity to empower our users with educational courses that will assist them to navigate the current norm. It resulted in the launch of the Kuba Job Booster Programme.”

David Fair, Job Booster Country Lead, believes that the programme will help unlock the abundant potential in these young entrepreneurs. “By providing the core skills required to run and grow a business we will do more than create jobs - we will create job creators.”

Scaling up

Kuba says the goal of the initiative is that each candidate will double their revenue and create at least one new job in his/her business after completing the programme. “We’ll be enabling individuals to scale small businesses, increase revenue for themselves and create jobs for others,” says Sibomana.

The company adds as a reasonably young company themselves, part of their scaling strategy was joining a tech-specific co-working space to connect with other entrepreneurs and tap into the expertise of those within the ecosystem. “For an entrepreneur, operating in isolation is a hard and long road - the advice, support and assistance a start-up gets is important to aid it in its journey.”

Charmaine Lambert of workspace Absa WorkInProgress says, “This funding agreement signed by Jacques and his team isn’t just a Kuba win, but a win for our entire entrepreneurial network and the greater start-up community. The lockdown had devastating effects on so many small businesses and we’re immensely proud that a member of our community found an opportunity in tough times and is sharing it with other entrepreneurs who want to make a difference.”

“We are seeing a combinations of various interventions yielding results, from improved access to internet, trainings as well as in better government policies designed to support entrepreneurs, Kuba says, adding that they are building an ecosystem of small business owners and those that are looking to procure and support small business owners. We see Kuba as route to improve access to information and to market for small business owners.

The programme will also provide the necessary tools that increase the potential of these businesses to grow, as well as the information and skills required to manage a small business, Kuba says.

Expanding into Africa

Kuba says the Job Booster programme will not be limited to South Africa.  When the pilot Job Booster programme becomes a success, they will introduce it to the rest of the African continent. “The roll-out plan will be influenced by the level of partnerships and appetite to invest in micro-enterprises from both national and international communities,” they say.

“We have always had an interest to work with small business owners in both Ethiopian and Nigerian markets, as we believe that both countries have a large pool of micro-enterprises that would benefit from not only Job Booster, but from the rest  of Kuba's services.”

Working with small business brings hope that indeed Africa has a brighter future, despite the various challenges small business owners face, they continue to push forward. “Lack of access to information ranks high in most of the challenges small business owners have, this lack of access to information results in most business owners not knowing what support is available for their businesses or ways to access new markets,” the company says.

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