Garment Industry Micro-Entrepreneurs in Johannesburg, South Africa
Between 1996 and 2004, Collaborative Strategies, LLC worked closely with BEES, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), in South Africa to build the managerial and entrepreneurial skills of more than 200 micro-entrepreneurs in the garment district in Johannesburg. Organized into 20 teams of 10 entrepreneurs each, the goal was to improve their business operations, develop the skills of their employees and create linkages to new, higher value-added market opportunities.
The participants included South African as well as immigrant manufacturers and apparel designers. A number of Entrepreneurial League System® tools were utilized to structure and manage these activities. This was a wonderful opportunity to apply the ELS framework under vastly different social, economic and cultural conditions. It proved to be highly robust and adaptable to local circumstances.
An independent evaluation comparing project participants to a control group, demonstrated significant differences in business performance, capacity to adapt to changing market conditions, level of networking and collaboration, awareness of their needs and shortcomings, self-confidence and skill levels.