The centre for entrepreneurship at ORBIT TVET College and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), have entered into an exciting partnership. The culmination of the partnership saw a Rapid Incubator (RI) facility being launched at the Mankwe Campus in March.
The RI was the fourth to be launched country-wide since the Rapid Incubation programme came into being in 2013. Minister of Small Business Development (SBD), Honourable Lindiwe Zulu, officially opened the centre. The centre will provide students and graduates with an entrepreneurial platform from which to commercialise their vocational skills.
In time it will hopefully see them move from being “job seekers to job creators”. CEO of SEDA, Ms Tshikwatamba said the programme is aimed at bringing another dimension to institutions of learning.
“With this new model, we are bringing an element of conceptualisation. Rapid Incubators should serve as solution providers. It is an intervention that will encourage and promote the development of an entrepreneurship culture. It will further provide student incubates with the necessary tools and techniques to create their own Small Medium and Micro enterprises (SMMEs). In this way it is anticipated that the intervention will contribute to economic growth and job creation in economically depressed areas”, commented Ms Tshikwatamba.
The RI at Mankwe Campus will focus on the motor industry. Through the on-going and “unbreakable” relationship between the college and Ford SA, the RI is expected to create opportunities for young people.
Twenty mechanical engineering students at Mankwe Campus will participate in the programme. Upon graduation, they will be given mobile repair panel vans which will give them a head-start in launching their own businesses.
Department of Higher Education and Training director-general (DG), Mr GF Qonde, said “partnerships between government departments and institutions of higher learning and training enable government to serve its citizens better.
Through this programme, the college will be able to equip students with the necessary skills that will prepare them in becoming skilled employees. We are therefore appealing to students to focus and work hard,” Mr Qonde said.
The DG also commended ORBIT TVET College for its continued work in creating opportunities for the youth. He also expressed his gratitude towards Ford SA for its financial contribution as well as the employment opportunities it continues to provide to College students.
One of the incubates, Karabo Moloisane, said “participating in the RI Programme will give his business and those of other aspiring young entrepreneurs, the much-needed exposure needed to promote their businesses. “We are truly grateful for the exposure this platform has afforded us. This means that people will finally get to see our products and experience our professionalism.
The products on display, made by the Incubates, included duffle bags, wallets, purses, unisex beach t-shirts and shorts, and caps. All were made by the Incubates. The Rapid Incubation Programme is the first incubation programme in South Africa to offer seed-funding to the Incubates through structured pitching sessions for which the incubates can apply. SEDA plans to open Rapid Incubators in all nine provinces.
Source: TVET College Times