Climbing the step up from being an informal roadside vehicle ‘service’ operation to being an accredited part of the motor business can be massively daunting for newcomers but, a project spearheaded by the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) aims to change this.
Around 60 informal businesses in the motor sector will be exposed to training and mentoring with the aim to become formal, accredited businesses in three years.
RMI CEO, Jakkie Olivier, says it has received around 60 applications from businesses to join the National African Association for Automobile Services Providers NAAASP.
“Once members, these businesses will be eligible to join the transformation project, which has been running for seven months now.”
He adds ultimately they would like the project to reach 150 businesses.
“What’s exciting is that we already have four businesses that are close to compliance to become fully-accredited members of the RMI.”
Joy Oldale, Transformation Director for the RMI, says the project has been met with much enthusiasm from the sector.
“These business owners are passionate about what they do and want the opportunity and support to enter the formal sector. Unfortunately, many are semi-skilled and have not had the opportunity to receive any qualifications,” she says.
As part of the project, these businesses will be registered on the New Venture Creation (NCV) L2 and, through an incubator approach with mentors and coaches, will need to complete the required credits to receive a qualification. The project will also assist the members with a business plan, funding, training staff, and ensuring the property and business meets all compliance criteria.
Oldale says the RMI is working closely with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) on this project.
“We have done roadshows with SEDA and SEFA and conducted surveys to understand the challenges and what needs to be done. Now we are in the implementation phase. Already we are seeing great results so watch this space,” she says.
Transformation of the sector is a priority for the RMI, says Olivier. “There is so much potential for job creation and new businesses. Our NAAASP members are spread over 10 regions including Pretoria, Virginia, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Rosslyn, Polokwane and Vaal Triangle. All of these areas face unemployment issues. Through this project and those to follow we will start to see change.”