Business incubators have always been an important part of South Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and are now more vital than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a particularly devastating blow to SMEs and threatened the survival of thousands of small businesses. Additionally, it made worse the challenges that local entrepreneurs face such as access to funding and market access and limited tech adoption.
Distressed businesses will need support if they are to survive and recover. These are services that our business incubators are equipped to provide such as business development support, training, digital skills and access to technology.
Below we look at where entrepreneurs can access the support and resources they need and shine the spotlight on new business incubators that have recently been launched.
Gibela Business Incubator
The Gibela Business Incubator supports qualifying entrepreneurs and small businesses operating in Nigel, Springs and the greater Ekurhuleni area – in various sectors.
The programme’s aim is to create an enabling environment for SMEs to grow and become sustainable through the provision of affordable space, business support and the facilitation of market opportunities.
It is a partnership between the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, the City of Ekurhuleni and the Small Enterprise Development Agency, and provides business and technical development services.
Fetola Circular Economy Accelerator
Launched in December 2021, the Fetola Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA) is focused on supporting the growth of over 100 small and emerging businesses across South Africa within the circular economy and sustainability sectors. This includes startups that tackle global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.
The business accelerator is supporting the growth of over 100 small and emerging businesses. They will be provided access to growth opportunities, investment, funding, and mentoring opportunities. This year sixty-five entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to join an 18-month innovative incubator programme.
Entrepreneurs in the CEA will have the opportunity to gain the technical skills and sector knowledge. They will also learn sales and marketing skills to increase sales and attract new clients and attract investors.
Tourism Technology Grassroots Innovation Incubator Programme
The Department of Tourism, in collaboration with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), has launched the Tourism Technology Grassroots Innovation Incubator Programme (TTGIIP).
Twenty entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35, will participate in the two-year tourism’s incubator programme. They will work to advance the design and business viability of their prototypes. The innovations will be introduced to the sector and potential investors for funding and implementation once they are finalised. Alternatively they will be introduced as resources for new ventures and as new business entrants in tourism.
MultiChoice Creator Incubator
In an effort to unlock the next generation of digital video content creators, the MultiChoice Innovation Fund has launched the Multichoice Studio Reach programme.
Ten video content creators native to the TikTok platform will have access to the online content creation programme. They must be between the ages of 18-35. Through the programme they will learn digital storytelling skills, business skills, and connect with other creators. The programme includes a one-year subsidized internship with Multichoice brands.
To apply you need to meet the application requirements for MultiChoice’s Yes4Youth programme.
Design Lab Incubation Programme
The Craft + Design Institute (CDI) in collaboration with the V&A Waterfront is offering
Cape Town-based creative entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain full retail experience at their incubator store, known as Design Lab located at the V&A’s Watershed shopping venue.
Local designers will receive the necessary support to experience a real-time retail environment. They will also try their hand at selling, as well as their test products in the market.
This opportunity will allow for local designers to receive the necessary support to experience a real-time retail environment. They will also try their hand at selling and test products in the market. The programme also unlocks free training covering pricing, packaging, merchandising, product development and much more.