SMME Incubator successfully growing small business

Nedbank SMME Incubator and Knysna Municipality successfully growing small business, boosting the economy and creating jobs

The partnership between Nedbank Business Banking and Knysna Municipality that began in 2009 continues to help set small businesses on the path to success, boosting the economy and stimulating job creation.

To date more than 100 local businesses have benefited from the original initiative by getting equipment and stock from Nedbank thanks to a R500 000 contribution towards enterprise development funding for small entrepreneurs identified by the municipality. At least 112 permanent jobs have since been created by the businesses on the programme.

Since 2009 the incubator has provided entrepreneurs with training, mentoring and one-on-one coaching, with the intention of empowering small business. Nedbank contributed a further R250 000 to the incubator in 2012, raising the funding to R750 000.

As one of the flagship programmes of Knysna Municipality supporting microenterprises, the municipality continued with the programme in 2015 using its own funding.

Nedbank again partnered with the municipality following a new intake of 2017 SMME incubators on 4 September 2017. A total of 21 incubatees were chosen after a vigorous selection process that included an entrepreneurial test undertaken by the Small Enterprise Development Agency and interviews by a panel of experts.

And now Knysna Municipality has received an additional R300 000 grant from Nedbank – taking the figure for entreprise development to over R1 million for this particular SMME incubator programme to support further development of local entrepreneurs in the Greater Knysna municipal area. The grant funding will be used to purchase equipment for the entrepreneurs who form part of the mentorship programme.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Knysna on Friday Nirmala Reddy, Senior Manager of Enterprise Development in the Small Business Services Unit under Nedbank Business Banking, says Nedbank is proud to partner with the Knysna Municipality because unlocking the SMME sector potential is key to economic growth and job creation in South Africa.

‘All 21 participants have been through a week of extensive business acumen training, and this handover function is the culmination of efforts to ensure that they leave with the necessary tools to help them on their journey,’ says Reddy.

‘As a bank whose philosophy is premised on Whole-view Business Banking™, we use our financial expertise to create a vibrant ecosystem and provide a rich set of development and support services that will enable businesses to grow. Whether in the early stages of running a business or embarking on a growth trajectory, you need the right banking partner, and Nedbank is focused on meeting all your business needs,’ says Reddy.

Knysna Municipality Councillor Dr Levael Davis (DA)says the goal of the initiative is to empower people of the town, and ensure that they get the necessary skills to help them achieve their goals. He adds it was a successful public-private partnership model, showing that government and private sector can contribute towards finding collective solutions to common challenges.

Executive Mayor of Knysna Eleanore Bouw-Spies says the objective is to provide the necessary seed capital to help the participants strengthen their businesses and operational capacity to assist them in increasing business sales so that they can grow and employ more individuals. ‘The Nedbank Incubator, therefore, contributes towards the development of 21 entrepreneurs from the marginalised communities of the Knysna Municipal area to become successful business owners. These businesses will in turn create employment, and generate wealth for the entrepreneurs, their families and the communities,’ says Bouw-Spies.

Additional information

Names of local businesses chosen for the 2017–2018 Nedbank SMME Incubator:

Name of participant Business name
1 Africa Mkhululi Vumazonke Black n White Visual Media
2 Melven Mene Usatsho Tshisa Nyama and Catering
3 Michelle Lencoe Lithemba Crafts & Tours
4 Megan B Finger CODI Designs
5 Fungayi Shadreck Machemedza House of Machie Designs
6 Laudrika Marisa Smart Starfire
7 Bulelani Memani Iskeem Sepotyosi
8 Nozuko Thelma Kameni Inyameko Trading 618 CC
9 Ralph Stander Eden Events
10 Bonke Richard Dyan African Systems Integration
11 Cornelia Witbooi Shalom Food Services and Catering
12 Evangeline Donson Celeb Empire Lounge
13 Colin Basil Williams New Imange T-shirt Printers (Pty ) Ltd
14 Samantha Moos Image goes with beauty
15 Lillian Bukelwa Ngqavu Zamukukhuthala Vukuzenzele
16 Simphiwe Qaqa Mange & Mtsolo Project
17 Siyabonga Twetwa Rock my World Car Wash and Tshisa Nyama
18 Thamsanqa Matika Limise Designers Construction
19 Sibakhulu Msizi Abantu Buntu Tourism SA
20 Mornay Galant Enimor Multipurpose (Pty) Ltd
21 Bongani Malaza Debongs Café

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