The Master Builders’ Association Western Cape (MBAWC) has been rolling out the Entrepreneurship for Contractors Development Programme in partnership with the University of the Western Cape Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) since 2018. Its main aim is to equip business owners in the built environment with the necessary tools and skills to manage and grow their enterprises.

The built environment sector has rapidly evolved in recent years. One noticeable change in the sector is the shift from large contracting firms to smaller sub-contractors. Another significant change is that employees, who were previously employed by well-known contractors, have started opening their own sub-contracting businesses. Additionally, there has been a rise in the number of people who have started small scale building businesses.

These changes highlight the need to provide new entrants with a programme that will enhance and improve their entrepreneurial skills and business acumen. This will assist in developing their ability to run efficient businesses as well as give them insight into how to contract accordingly.

“As the industry has changed, so have the needs of our members and the community at large. For this reason, we created a solutions-driven programme to assist emerging contractors who are already trying their best to generate an income and ultimately contribute to the economy,” says Letitia van Rensburg, Training Officer for MBAWC.

The entrepreneurship programme is fully funded by the MBA Development Trust and is offered free of charge to participants.  The programme equips

Wesley Clarence. Image credit: WCMBA

Wesley Clarence. Image credit: WCMBA

entrepreneurs with the expertise they need to manage their business’s profitability as well as to ensure that they conduct their businesses in a compliant and ethical manner.  This includes compliance with the Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC), which is one of the requirements for operating in the built environment in the Western Cape.

This year marks three successful years since the inception of the programme, with more than 30 graduates who are in businesses such as formwork, brick laying, plumbing and general contracting fully completing the course each year.

The CEI invites emerging contractors who are eager to develop and refine their enterprises in the following areas to consider the programme:

  • Human Resources and Legalities, which assists with managing human capital inside the enterprise
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Contractual and Legal requirements, which outlines the compliance requirements of the BIBC
  • Pricing and claims, which aids with competitive advantage
  • Project management techniques

This year’s programme kicks off on 21 May 2022 and runs for six months. “Although there are a number of tasks to be completed throughout the six-month period, we are very confident that all the participants will successfully complete the course and graduate,” says Wesley Clarence, Programme Manager at the University of the Western Cape.

“As the MBAWC, we are committed to empowering those within the built environment. We are also excited to share the necessary entrepreneurial skills to ensure that graduates are equipped with even greater knowledge and understanding of the industry they operate in and to grow their own entities,” concludes van Rensburg.

To apply for the Entrepreneurship for Contractors Development Programme members of the public are encouraged to email the CEI on or apply via the following link: Applications close on the 22nd of April 2022.