The Minister of Small Business Development, the Honourable Lindiwe Zulu recently launched the ninth of the ten planned new Centres for Entrepreneurship (CfE), at...

The Minister of Small Business Development, the Honourable Lindiwe Zulu recently launched the ninth of the ten planned new Centres for Entrepreneurship (CfE), at Goldfields TVET College. This is a part of an integrated youth rapid incubation model designed by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA).

SEDA is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development. The agency aims to better service youth start-ups and youth-owned small, medium and micro enterprises and co-operatives around the Lejweleputswa District in the Free State province. This is also a region served by the College.

In her keynote address, Zulu emphasised that these centres are dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship, new venture-creation, and economic development through Universities and TVET Colleges.

The centre launched at Goldfields TVET College will make its mark, by contributing towards creating a new pipeline of entrepreneurs. In doing so it is expected to serve to mitigate the dire challenges of unemployment faced by South Africa in general and the Free State Province, in particular.

The focus of this centre for entrepreneurship will be on the renewal energy sector and its related market segment. The market segment served by this centre will focus on the design and manufacturing, installation and maintenance of solar geysers. Advancements and innovation in the renewable energy sector will likewise be a constant source of updated practice for the centre.

The college CfE objectives will ensure that incubated entrepreneurs are trained to the required standards. This will further ensure that they get used to operating within a compliant environment. Ultimately when the college students graduate, they can be assisted to set up their own related businesses.

The Goldfields TVET College CfE represents one of the Free State province pilot sites. This centre will be a feeder into the rapid incubation programme, allowing youth to gain much needed support and business development services through the incubation programme.

In closing,  Zulu cited that the opening of the new facility bears testimony of the government’s commitment to the renewable energy sector. It is also a testimony to the Department of Small Business Development energy mix objectives, which aims at growing the South African economy with small business co-operatives.

She further emphasised that township youth in this region needed to be trained and supported. That the new generation of cooperatives and SMMEs in the Green Sector should come from townships and that the community needs to take full advantage of this CfE.

Source: TVET College Times

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