The Department of Small Business Development will launch a centre for entrepreneurship in Mpumalanga at the Gert Sibande Training and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) early next year.
“As a start, this Centre for Entrepreneurship will focus on the full value chain in the hospitality industry in the area,” Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said.
Speaking at the Mpumalanga Provincial Small Business Summit on Tuesday, Minister Zulu said the community where the centre will be located was identified through a thorough needs assessment, low start-up costs and the number of new potential business.
Other factors that were considered include readily available market opportunities, availability of a ger feeder area from students who are already doing hospitality programmes at Gert Sibande TVET and lastly to further optimise on the established partnerships with SETAs like CathSeta and FoodBevSeta.
“This Centre for Entrepreneurship instrument is critical for this province where there are big businesses who are also struggling to get good SMMEs and cooperatives that can be integrated into their value chains.
“We can utilise this to properly support artisans that are being trained at the TVET’s to become reliable suppliers and be properly integrated in the value chains,” Minister Zulu said.
The Department of Small Business Development has a programme called Centres for Entrepreneurship, which is aimed at fostering the culture of entrepreneurship through entrepreneurship education, increasing enterprise creation and network of support services.
“In order to overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality as outlined in the National Development Plan, my department will implement support mechanisms that include access to finance, business skills development, market access, competitiveness, easing the regulatory environment, aancing localisation and leveraging on public and private sector procurement,” Minister Zulu said.
She said the Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP) had so far approved 29 proposals from Mpumalanga worth more than R14 million.
Minister Zulu said the figure was too low because compared to the total approvals in the country, R14 million only amounted to a 4.9% share.
“Let us work together colleagues to improve on this figure to assist our entrepreneurs to expand their business activities helping the province to reduce these high rates of unemployment,” she said.
The Cooperative Incentive Scheme has approved 15 applications amounting to R 4.4 million in the current financial year (201415).
“This amount benefited 88 individuals … In terms of sectors, 13 of these cooperatives are in agriculture varying from vegetable farming, poultry, stock farming and only two of these cooperatives are in bakery,” Minister Zulu said.
She said her department was aware of the high failure rate of cooperatives and it was amending the Cooperatives Act to deal with these issues.
“Apart from amending the act, we have to work closely as various spheres of government and private sector stakeholders to create procurement opportunities for our cooperative enterprises.
“Support that is related to market access, mentoring and capacity building is crucial as we don’t want a situation where cooperatives become government projects and they are not in a position to stand on their own but continuously depend on government grants,” Minister Zulu said. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za