The Centres for Entrepreneurship (CfE) and Rapid Incubators form a strong link between institutions of higher learning and enterprise development. It is in this spirit that Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Nomathemba November will be launching the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) CfE/Rapid Incubator in Upington.
This centre will service graduates from the university and broadly young entrepreneurs from Upington and neighbouring towns such as Keimoes, Kakamas and Groblershoop.
The VUT CfE and Rapid Incubator centre strategically located to focus on predominant economic sectors within the area they are located. The VUT centre will focus on renewable energy, agriculture and tourism sectors.
These sectors are key the local economic activities within the Upington area with a potential of accommodating new entrants in particular graduates with innovative ideas who would like to take advantage of opportunities within the area. These are young people who are going to be developed into entrepreneurs through CfE/Rapid Incubator programme.
The programme is designed to develop viable innovative ideas into small enterprises after 18 months.
The CfE/Rapid Incubator is divided into two parts, the first part is CfE which is six months theoretical training programme focusing on business entrepreneurship training, innovation and idea generation training and product conceptualisation.
The second part of the programme is the 12 month rapid incubation open only to qualifying selected candidates. It is during this period that actual product development and refinement takes place.
During this period the commercialisation of the product entails advanced sector specific technical training, seed funding and other business support also takes place. After the 18 months the SMME is expected to be ready for the open market and will graduate from the programme.
The CfE is able to accommodate up to 60 clients but only around 20 graduates are selected at enterprise start-up week for rapid incubation by the incubation team and Seda. This is the eighth rapid incubator to be launched out of the nine planned across the country.
Other provinces which have launched are: KwaZulu Natal (Esayidi TVET College); Northern Cape (Northern Cape Rural TVET College); Limpopo (Vhembe TVET College); Western Cape (False Bay TVET College); Free State (Motheo TVET); Free State (Goldfields TVET) and North West (Orbit TVET College).