The objective of any entrepreneur participating in a business incubator program is to emerge from it with a business that is not only larger but also more robust than when they initially joined. While the success of this endeavor is greatly influenced by the incubator program itself, with its valuable resources and potential funding opportunities, many entrepreneurs tend to underestimate the substantial investment of time and resources required to realize the growth they aspire to achieve.
Chantal de Kock, who brings to the table a wealth of 15 years’ experience in the development sector and a fervent commitment to both personal and female entrepreneurial growth, emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurs entering an incubator program with their eyes wide open. According to her, it is imperative that they comprehend what they are getting into, assess whether it aligns with their specific needs, and determine if they possess the willingness and capability to meet the program’s requirements.
“Ultimately, they must know what they are signing up for, determine if it matches their needs and if they are able and willing to commit to the programme requirements,” says de Kock. She has 15 years’ experience in the development sector and is passionate about people development and female entrepreneurship.
De Kock shares 5 financial and time commitments that entrepreneurs can expect when they enter an incubation programme.
1. Monthly reporting on key performance indicators – often this is underestimated i.e. the amount of time and admin it takes.
2. Time out office to attend workshops and networking events.
3. Some incubators charge for certain services, for example consultant interventions and workshop registration fees. They must understand these requirements upfront before joining a programme.
4. Time out of office to attend mentorship sessions, often these are on and off-site, so costs may be incurred.
5. Entrepreneurs must understand exactly which costs are covered by the programme, often they will have access to services such as graphic design or media services, but the printing and placement costs may be for their own account.
About Fetola: The organisation are leaders in business growth, with a decade of experience in the field of incubator management and enterprise development. Businesses enrolled in Fetola programmes typically achieve an annual growth rate of 47.2% per business. Their long-term survival rate (tracked over ten years) is 87.4%, almost five times the national average. Fetola’s sector expertise ranges from agriculture and mining to financial services and manufacturing. Sustainable business, including energy, waste and water are also strong focus areas. Fetola’s accelerator programmes include SAB Tholoana Enterprise Programme, Groundswell and Waste to Wing.