Incubator support for small businesses

14 September 2012

The Incubation Support Programme, which will be launched by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies in Johannesburg on Sunday, will encourage private sector partnerships with the government to support small businesses development incubators in South Africa.

The programme is aimed at nurturing small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) into sustainable enterprises that can provide employment and contribute to economic development.

The incentive works towards ensuring that SMMEs are eventually graduated into the mainstream economy, creating successful enterprises with a potential to revitalise communities and strengthen local and national economies.

Promoting broader economic participation

“This is one of the best platforms that a country can use to promote broader economic participation, uplift the country’s entrepreneurial base and encourage start-up activities,” Davies said in a statement.

The ISP will be effective from 16 September and will be administered for a period of 10 years up to March 2022.

Davies said the programme is envisaged to bring enterprises from a survivalist stage and informal economy into being the main players in the mainstream economy.

“It is without a doubt that the incubation programme cannot be successfully undertaken by a single player in the economy,” he said.

“It is for this reason that government is forging as well as calling for partnership with business, in meeting the target of establishing of 250 new incubators by 2015.”

Davies added that the support the incubators will receive can be used for infrastructure and business development services necessary to mentor and grow enterprises.

The package of support offered to incubators by the department on a cost-sharing basis will be 50:50 for large businesses and 40:60 for small micro and medium enterprises.

The programme will be open for applications on 1 October, with a web-enabled application facility available from 26 October 2012.

The ISP will be launched at the opening of the 37th annual International Small Business Congress (ISBC) hosted by the Trade and Industry Department at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 15 to 18 September.