Tourism agencies mentor women
A conversation that started during a flight has led to a lucrative joint collaboration between Women in Tourism Eastern Cape, the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency and the University of Fort Hare for the advancement of tourism skills development, financial advise and enterprise support to encourage development of tourism enterprises in the province.
The University of Fort Hare’s Faculty of Management and Commerce has volunteered accounting education among other skills to businesses in the tourism sector, especially those owned by women and to assist in formulating relations with other stakeholders. They will share knowledge and upskill tourism mentees and mentors on business operations as required in areas of mutual interest.
“It's an exciting program, we have various facilitators that will be conducting sessions. We will jump in with the first session today on accounting and finance. These are interactive workshops, and each business owner will get out of the session what they want, they are not in a lecture format. The next session will be on events, project management, and coordination,” said Wendy Terblanche of the Department of Accounting at UFH.
Areas of cooperation will include general business, Human Resource, Marketing, Customer Care and Event or project co-ordination to enhance the professional skills of small businesses in the tourism industry.
Nomfundo Zondwa, project manager for ECPTA said, “We want these sessions to be productive. Tourism relates to the economy directly and links up all businesses in an area. Government entities and tertiary education institutions must work together to ensure that knowledge and information are passed on to our communities.”
The launch was held on Wednesday at a Southernwood bed and breakfast owned by Women in Tourism Eastern Cape Mentorship manager and owner of the B&B,
Phelisa Kunju. The first session was a facilitator by UFH Accounting lecturer and Chartered Accountant Asanda Ngcofe.
Thandi Mkhanzana, a Fort Hare graduate and local business owner in the hospitality, events and transport industry welcomed the informal set-up provided by the partnership, as a busy business owner. “I always encourage women to network wherever because we can never know what opportunities can be unleashed. Every time business people meet, they could forge relations that can be lucrative for both of them and more women,” she said.