Case Study: Sustaining Economic Development in the Eastern Cape

  • Country South Africa
  • Sector Education + Leadership, Gender + Social Inclusion
Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Client's Challenge

Can sustainable reductions in regional poverty be achieved through a national focus on skills development to re-align academy to industry? That was our partner’s challenge. Walter Sisulu University, engaged NC Global to advise on its implementation of a new skills development program in the Eastern Cape, one of South Africa’s most rural and poorest provinces.

Our Solution

Team up with Colleges and Institutes Canada and Walter Sisulu University (WSU) to manage a multi-year regional economic development program to increase employment and reduce poverty. Together, we built strategic education, government, industry and community partnerships to offer programs that developed participants’ skills to obtain work.

  • We identified training needs in business practices, project management, monitoring and evaluation for application within project initiatives. At the community-level, we unearthed business readiness deficits through assessments and audits, allowing for plans to be developed that supported micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) / cooperative growth.
  • We designed, established and oversaw a small business development centre to support rural entrepreneurs, helping them develop, grow and maintain SMEs. We built upon previous GAC-funded enterprises that fostered strategic partnerships to reduce poverty through skills development.
  • We implemented IN-REACH (Rural Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Hub), a three-year program that extended specialized training and life skills development in the areas of business management, marketing and promotion, and community engagement to rural and marginalized women and girls.
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Impact on the Client

  • We enhanced practitioner skills through structured coaching and mentoring, shepherded through performance measures. We also established systems with local government to define and collect data, conduct research and implement changes within provincial skills plans.
  • WSU increased its contribution to regional economic development by executing the National Skills Development Strategy and in addressing labour shortages in accordance with provincial skills plans.
  • Together, we were instrumental in designing professional development and training programs and tools including training programs for community MSMEs in tourism and agriculture, including performance measurement systems.
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Our strength is our ability to collaborate with academic institutions to create programs and initiatives that match the needs of the labour market and improve communities. Our client is taking steps to eradicate poverty through training and entrepreneurship.

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