Your journey: Betsy Ings (Siyaloba Training Academy)

Betsy Ings, the founder and MD of Tradelane Training & Project Management and Siyaloba Training Academy, speaks exclusively to u|Chief. 

What is your career background?

I started out as a stay-at-home mom/shore manager for my hubby, with no formal tertiary education beyond Grade 12, and with very little fishing and maritime industry knowledge.

I made sure I engaged in all industry related training and mentoring opportunities and I hope to embark on my MBA in 2018.

Did your life experience in any way steer you towards your work with an NGO?

Yes, I found my purpose in the fishing industry and, today, I am an avid advocate and trainer for women, youth and marginalised individuals’ economic empowerment… and I am grateful for the journey and learning curves.

“I cried many tears as I was intimidated on a daily basis but, having said that, it was this challenge that gave me purpose and led me to start a social enterprise.” – Betsy Ings

Please can you share with us the story of your journey and what experience and opportunities helped you in starting your NGO?

Engaging daily with the needs of others in fishing, and looking at my own nuclear family, I realised I had very little… yet I had more than most. I spoke to everyone who would listen and a friend in our Bible study group shared my vision of a school for fishers, which led to Siyaloba being established.

I cried many tears as I was intimidated on a daily basis but, having said that, it was this challenge that gave me purpose and led me to start a social enterprise, I am eternally grateful for the learning platform I enjoyed.

In hindsight, I realise that complacency never brings change, but that you have to have a vision greater than yourself and, in my case, an amazing support structure in my hubby, kids and friends.

In 2003 I represented the fishing industry on various platforms nationally, and gaining the industry’s trust meant a lot to me. I was privileged to serve on the board of the Transport Education and Training Authority.

In 2007, a friend introduced me to the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWASA), and I found a support structure that led to my personal growth and that of Siyaloba and my team. I became the local BWA Chair and became a BWASA Board member for three years, serving the women in business in various aspects.

Today I am an ILO (International Labour Organisation) women enterprise development specialist and blessed to count the UN Women, ILO, Graça Machel Trust and numerous multi-national companies as my valued customers.

The R30-million woman

Betsy has done project management, facilitation and community coordinator on projects to the value of R 30 Million.

  • SDF for 37 SME’s
  • 5by20 and ABAFAZI– Coca-Cola Fortune ILO Incubation Programme for 12 650 Emerging and Social Entrepreneurs
  • Value Chain analysis with Business Women’s Association of South Africa various advocacy and capacity building Programmes across 5 of their chapters
  • BWASA – Business Women’s Association of South Africa various capacity building programmes : ILO WEA (Women Entrepreneur Association capacity building programme for the board and local committees; ILO EYB ( Expand your Business for Regional nominees for the business achievers awards;
  • Social Enterprise Development with WESSA – Eco School Educator Development & Youth Programmes
  • Dept. of Water Affairs – Women in Water – 96 women assisted with collection and recycling of waste
  • South African Maritime Safety Authority Community Capacity & Sustainability Project 789 Training Interventions – March – December 2012
  • BWASA Supplier Diversity Programme for 15 Women Entrepreneurs – June 2012
  • BWA ILO RBAA WEDGE Abafazi Coca-Cola Fortune Incubation Programme – 6 Emerging and Social Entrepreneurs
  • ILO Action My Business Growth roll out in KZN for Fuse Consulting – 30 Emerging Entrepreneurs
  • ILO Women Entrepreneur Development roll out with Vital Voices in Port Elizabeth – 12 WED Management Personnel
  • SEDA ILO Expand Your Business – 24 Entrepreneurs in Eastern Cape –
  • ILO Women Entrepreneur Association roll out for 14 BWA Coordinators and Executive Director
  • TETA Pilot Project – Curriculum Development – SGB & Advocacy
  • European Union – Horse management training for the Wild Coastal Spatial Development Initiative 168 rural learners trained as horse carers and tour guides –
  • TETA SAMSA National Safety Induction Training for 4500 fishers –
  • TETA Small Boat Fishing Industry Project in the Eastern Cape – Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth and Umtata 1050 learners
  • The Small Boat Fishing Industry Project in the Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth and Umtata 706 learners project value
  • SMME Voucher Project Manager – 35 SMME’s in the Squid Sector

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