Satsa is looking for industry players to mentor SMEs as part of its market access programme in partnership with SA Tourism.

The programme, taking place from December 2016 to May 2017, will see SMEs trained and mentored before a final group of SMEs are selected to be showcased at a speed marketing session ahead of Indaba in Durban, while the selected SMEs will also exhibit at the trade show from May 16-18.

Established players keen to volunteer as mentors should contact Satsa Chief Operating Officer Hannelie du Toit, on 083 600 2555 and Hannelie@satsa.co.za.

Du Toit said peer-to-peer learning was an invaluable element of this programme. “We do tend to throw a lot of training and mentoring at our SMEs, but the difference in this programme is that it’s peer to peer. It’s learning from other people in the industry who have been doing this for a long time,” she said. “I have had good responses, but I do need more industry to volunteer as mentors.”

Gail McCann-Westphal is providing training to the SMEs participating in the programme. “She has many years of experience, working with and selling to the trade,” said Du Toit.

SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, also appealed to established players act as mentor. “The assistance and support we need from Satsa members is mentoring and networking,” he said, adding that networks played a part in deciding what products were included in itineraries. “Embrace the guys that are coming in. Support them and teach them because it is also in the interest of Satsa members that the quality and standards are high.” He added that a service delivery failure impacted on the entire destination and value chain.

Ntshona said the collaboration with Satsa was appropriate as the organisation’s members were ideally placed to support SME entry into the sector. He added that the aim of the market access programme was for established players to help pull the SMEs up and into existing networks.