In the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, small business owners face a multitude of challenges and opportunities. To thrive in this environment, guidance and support from experienced mentors have become invaluable.
Kyle Ballard, Head of Accelerators for the Durban Chemicals Cluster (DCC) says, “In the often-solitary journey of entrepreneurship, business owners frequently find themselves navigating uncharted waters. This isolation can make the path to success and scale seem daunting, but having a mentor as a trusted sounding board can be a game-changer.”
Ballard offers 5 reasons why he believes every small business owner should consider mentorship:
1. Guidance and Expertise: Industry-specific mentors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They have navigated the same challenges, market dynamics, and opportunities that small business owners face. Their guidance can help entrepreneurs make informed decisions and avoid common pitfalls.
2. Networking Opportunities: Mentors often have extensive networks within their industry. By connecting with a mentor through programmes like the DCC Accelerator, small business owners gain access to valuable contacts, potential partners, and opportunities they might not have encountered otherwise.
3. Accountability and Goal Setting: A mentor can help set clear, measurable goals and hold the business owner accountable for achieving them. With regular check-ins and guidance, entrepreneurs are more likely to stay on track and meet their core business objectives.
4. Problem Solving and Decision-Making: When faced with complex problems or critical decisions, having a mentor to consult with can be a pivotal factor. Industry-specific mentors can offer insights and perspectives that the business owner might not have considered, leading to better-informed choices.
5. Personal Growth and Confidence: Beyond business knowledge, mentors can also provide personal support and encouragement. They can boost the business owner’s confidence and motivation, which is especially valuable during challenging times. Knowing that an experienced mentor believes in their potential can be a powerful motivator.
Jason Govender, the Managing Director of KLIA Business & Technology Solutions and winner of the ‘Best Business Case’ award in the 2022 Durban Chemicals Cluster Accelerator has achieved remarkable success thanks to the mentorship he received through the DCC. “This has been one of the most elevating experiences since starting the business,” he states. “Over the past years, our heads have been underwater, grinding away to nurture business from a grassroots level. The Accelerator has afforded us the opportunity to pick up our heads and play at a level that feels like we are at a corporate standard, getting expert training, coaching, and guidance. To be a part of this experience is so encouraging and motivating. I literally felt like my hand was being held [sic].”
Takalani Rathiyaya, Head of the Economic Development Unit for eThekwini Municipality, shared his enthusiasm saying, “We are immensely proud to partner with the DCC Accelerator. This initiative not only offers SMEs the opportunity to collaborate with and potentially supply lead enterprises in the local chemicals industry, but it also offers much-needed emotional and technical support. Sometimes, someone believing in you is all you need to take the next step.”
If you are a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) looking for mentorship from industry experts, access to new markets, standards upgrading to scale your business, and capital investment interventions to unlock your potential, then you need to apply for the 2023 DCC Accelerator. Applications from high-potential, Black-owned SMEs within the local chemicals sector are all welcome and will be accepted until 30 September 2023.
For more information and to submit an application by 30th September 2023, please visit https://durbanchemicalscluster.org.za