Graduates armed with an Entrepreneurial Development qualification have entered Cape Town's business arena after graduating from the Raymond Ackerman Academy, on 12 June 2012.
The Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development is an initiative between the University of Cape Town and the Ackerman Family Foundation, and it receives a grant from the City of Cape Town. The City's grant is used to support student transport and teaching, and during the course students are taught life and business skills. This foundation course provides them with 3 options by laying the groundwork to allow the students to continue studying, find a job or start a small business.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony was the City of Cape Town's Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environment and Spatial Planning, Alderman Belinda Walker, who noted, “Entrepreneurship training has been identified as one of the most effective means through which the City can create employment.
Not only does the Raymond Ackerman Academy allow young people to gain skills which will ensure their own employability, but because this is an academy of entrepreneurial development it will train up people who will create jobs for others." Regarding Cape Town's proactive stance she added, "Last month we launched the first phase of the Cape Town Activa
web portal. Equal access to information is crucial for market access and the development of online resources for entrepreneurs is viewed by the City as an important facet of supporting business development. This practical resource will be continually developed to create a central point of information and support for entrepreneurs."
The Raymond Ackerman Academy was established with the desire to offer youth facing financial, social or academic challenges a chance to develop themselves and make a difference in not only their own future, but also in the future of their communities through a quality education in entrepreneurship. It offers an inspiring and innovative six-month, full time programme in entrepreneurial development. The six-month programme is run twice a year from January to June and from July to December.
Commenting on the academy's success Raymond Ackerman said, "Because entrepreneurship is so important to create jobs in South Africa, I feel that this course is helping in some small way to train people in this direction. We are not only training people to become entrepreneurs, but also to get experience and training to get decent jobs in major companies. This really is one of our broad visions and that is to help people get jobs in South Africa."
The course includes business fundamentals such as business skills, life skills, numeracy and literacy support. It is open to those between the ages of 18 and 30, from backgrounds where they have experienced financial, social or academic challenges. Applications are open to anyone with a matric, living in the Western Cape.
Graduates of the Raymond Ackerman Academy from previous courses have gone on to start businesses such as township tours, panel beaters, computer sanitising services, soft furnishings, water sanitation, software development, marketing and promotions, music and entertainment and biltong and chocolate-makers.
For further details about The Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development go to www.ackermanacademy.co.za