The GESS 2016 program was completed in December 2016 with the culmination of the End of Year Awards program and wrap up interviews. The program was significant for the RAA in that this was the first year that 30 SMEs were recruited and supported on the GESS program, scaled from 10 in 2015 . The biggest ever entreprenuerial support program undertaking by the RAA.
The impact of the program was 'RAAwesome':
1. 26 SMEs supporting on average of 55 jobs a month
2. Combined sales generated for the period of July 2016 to October 2016 was over R 4 300 000,00 (four million three hundred thousand rand).
3. Grant Seed Captial of R 142 057,00 (one hundred and forty two thousand and fifty seven rand ) was awarded to 15 participants over the year
4. Monthly Support Capital (for data, transport, food and electricity) totalled R 64 250,00 (sixty four thousand two hundred and fifty rand) for the year.
The insights, lessons and experience developed by the RAA team at both a programatic and mamagement level has guided the design of the 2017 program. Key insights include:
1. An integrated Management system is vital in order to track impact at different levels of the entrpreneur and the business, in an efficient and effective manner
2. The design of the program should accommodate the different stages of development of each business
3. The program can be enhanced by addressing entrepreneurship, business development and leadership in clearly defined modules.
4. Personal development can be even more impactful if integrated across the different modules
5. The program has the opportunity to inform behaviour of the entrepreur in the different areas of his business
6. The program must prepare the entrepreneur to be bankable / invesment ready
7. Certain elements of the program can be stand alone programs which are packaged and offered to to broader target audience
8. The RAA’s considerable amount of expertise in youth entreprenership and development should be shared more widely with other departments and programs in the greater UCT