Tsogo Sun has significantly expanded its successful Book a Guesthouse programme to include Sun1 hotel operators and housekeepers, to form Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs, an innovative entrepreneurial development programme for the hospitality industry. This move saw a boost in numbers last year with an additional 15 in the Book a Guesthouse programme and 23 Sun1 operators. It was expanded further this year with the inclusion of 10 housekeepers into the programme, bringing the total number of entrepreneurs supported from 85 entrepreneurs to 133.
Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs is a business benefit and development programme that supports various clusters of entrepreneurs within the value chain of the Tsogo Sun group and within the broader tourism industry in South Africa, to support entrepreneurs to develop professionally-operated, compliant, sustainable businesses.
“The continuing success of the Book a Guesthouse programme and our commitment to entrepreneurial development, together with the ever-present need for job creation in South Africa, were drivers in this decision to expand our programme to include more beneficiaries and offer a higher level of support, benefits, and services to them,” explains Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s General Manager: Corporate Affairs.
The programme provides qualifying entrepreneurs with business development support and benefits including skills transfer (business development, coaching, mentorship); value added benefits (endorsement, memberships, marketing, publicity); shared services (extranet, call centre, preferential discounts, business support); business tools (risk assessment and recommendations, software systems, equipment); an integrated supply chain (market access, networking opportunities); and recognition (entrepreneur rewards, certification, awards).
“Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs forms part of the company’s far-reaching sustainability in tourism programme and features a number of established partnerships with government, corporates, industry bodies and development specialists to advance our mutual interests in contributing towards the creation of economic growth in South Africa by supporting emerging enterprises,” adds Tothill.
MEDO (Micro Enterprise Development Organisation), which has been a partner with Book a Guesthouse for several years, has now stepped up its involvement in Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs and expanded its offering to cover a wide range of support services, as well as discounts and special offers on various products and services; procurement support; travel arrangements; access to SMEasy Accounting systems; tender alerts and corporate listings.
Other partners that work with Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs include Beyond Coaching and Tsheto Leadership Academy, which bring coaching and training to the entrepreneurs, depending on the intervention required. Beyond Coaching offers a complete repertoire of coaching and related services for personal or corporate and business development purposes. The Tsheto Leadership programmes are developed to ensure the entrepreneur has the capacity for self-leadership to enable them to succeed. It has the licence to use specific coaching tools. Tsheto Leadership is owned and operated by Queen Ramotsehoa, while Rienzo Colpo is Director for Beyond Coaching.
Tsheto sponsors the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner to receive training in Master 1 – The Awareness Process, which is then delivered by Beyond Coaching. Both partners provide training based on the subject materials allocated to them in the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs – Handbook and group coaching sessions for individual entrepreneurs.
Through Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs, the group is in year one of implementing a long-term plan, which is designed more broadly to address the need for wealth creation in the country. Says Tothill, “The impact on the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs beneficiaries will be monitored and evaluated and adjustments will be made to the model where necessary as the plan unfolds. Enterprise and Supplier Development needs to be undertaken in a manner that really makes a change to the economic landscape in South Africa. Tsogo Sun has been cognisant of this in the design of the Entrepreneurs programme, which is expected to take time to develop and implement, but the results will be meaningful, far-reaching and permanent.”
When entrepreneurs are newly inducted into the programme, they are required to complete a training and development course over one year, after which they are assessed and go on to become alumni or are given further individualised training according to their assessment. Alumni continue to receive benefits and support on the basis of continued adherence to excellence.
The Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme culminates in an annual conference at one of Tsogo Sun’s properties. “The growth of the programme highlights Tsogo Sun’s ongoing commitment to tourism and the South African economy. More than that, the programme uncovers business people with significant potential for success within the country and those with the capacity to create sustainable businesses of an outstanding standard,” says Tothill.
Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of over 90 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.