Ask any responsible organisation – whether private or public sector focussed – and you’ll find the need to focus on skills development, job creation and facilitating conditions, which will encourage the growth of small businesses. For Samsung, this has always been part of their company ethos, which is why they invest heavily in local socio-economic development. No business can be successful unless it creates prosperity and opportunity for others.
The organisation has a number of projects concentrated on the principles of skills development and job creation but perhaps the most recognised is their three Engineering Academies that benefit hundreds of students. The Samsung Women Technical Programme (WTP), being the primary curriculum, focuses on up-skilling women to ensure they take their place in the world of electronic engineering and help them meet their personal ambitions.
Last year, thirty Samsung employees from South Korea arrived in South Africa as part of the Employee Volunteer Programme (EVP). Masibambisane High School (MHS) in Delft, Cape Town, benefitted from the EVP, with volunteers teaching students to use Microsoft Office tools, access online e-commerce portals and repair smartphones. Samsung helps young, disadvantaged people to enjoy access to the best education, using their know-how and technology, they create tailored learning opportunities.
Another way in which Samsung has assisted small business development is by leading the Launching People #MixedTalents global initiative and establishing their online Ideas Bank that connects aspiring entrepreneurs with investors, mentors and skills development opportunities. Ideas Bank was developed in partnership with METIME and the platform currently has over 900 users, while six promising entrepreneurs have been granted over R900 000 in funding, mentorship and business support through various campaign competitions.
“Samsung’s mission is to make life better and create possibilities – through both our products and our approach to corporate responsibility. If there is one thing that has made Samsung the company that it is today, it is innovation. Our position as a leading global electronics company is the direct result of our commitment in research and technological breakthroughs,” says Michelle Potgieter, Director: Brand Marketing and Communications at Samsung South Africa.
The company remains dedicated to addressing unemployment, with their local development initiatives having already created over a thousand jobs and employment opportunities in the country. Their Khulanathi Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme, for instance, empowers former employees by providing them with the tools and support to start their own businesses.
The first beneficiaries – MMT Logistics and Rec-Pro admin services – were given vehicles to enable them to deliver services to Samsung. MMT Logistics received a 64-seater bus and a 32-seater minibus, which are used to transport Samsung executives and students of the Samsung Engineering Academy. Rec-Pro was granted a Toyota Etios to assist in the delivery of administrative services.
“We are deeply committed to youth and entrepreneurship development. Being able to support these causes is an advantage not only to communities but a proud initiative for Samsung because those we enable can then pay it forward to make the South African economy stronger,” Potgieter concludes.
In related news, Samsung also recently endeavored to stay at the forefront of the technology revolution through effective research and development.