Tourism incubator launched to assist business

A Tourism Enterprise Development Incubator, which is a virtual vehicle to help in the provision of business support to tourism enterprises, was launched this week.

Launching the incubator at the Mphebatho Cultural Museum in Pilanesberg, the North West on Friday, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said the programme will focus on viable existing Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) at the selected tourism nodes.

The SMMEs must be affiliated to a local tourism association and be operational. In addition there is no turn over requirement for participation by SMME's but the official description of what SMMEs in line with the Small Development Act will be considered in the evaluation of suitability for inclusion in the incubator.

"Of critical importance, the success of our programmes is dependent on quality leadership as well as a stable and willing community that is hungry for success, which will create opportunities for our people. I am glad to say that this is one such community," said the Minister.

"The Tourism Enterprise Development Incubator will be a virtual vehicle used to facilitate the provision of business support interventions to tourism enterprises, clustered along a thriving tourism node in the country. This model will enable enterprises to obtain all business support services offered without being located in the incubator."

North West Tourism MEC Desbo Mohono said one of the issues that has risen in policy prominence and within the National Development Plan over the years has been an issue of establishing a network of business incubators to nurture particular groups of emerging small enterprises.

"This business incubator model is a vibrant tool for nurturing innovative ventures regarding economic development and job creation as critical components of entrepreneurial infrastructure. It is going to assist growth of emerging and small start-up business enterprises into financially and operationally independent business ultimately," said the MEC.

In his closing remarks Kgosi Nyalala Pilane, the Kgosi of the Bakgatla tribe, re-emphasised the importance of this programme and encouraged participants not work in silos.

"This incubator is not just about tourism, it has many other elements across the tourism value chain. Incubatees need to interact and link up with other programmes in other sectors," he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency.

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