Business Centre

Recognizing the link between economic realities and human dignity; through its programs, SBF seeks to advance economic development by empowering individuals and communities to develop sustainable livelihoods. The Foundation’s approach is underpinned by the principle of self-reliance and aims to assist in diminishing degrees of uncertainty and vulnerability in the lives of the economically disadvantaged.

 

This objective is achieved largely through The Business Incubator, a program that offers support to Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) as well as would be entrepreneurs. SBF assists entrepreneurs in the Eastern Cape, serving up to 5,000 people a year, the majority of whom are women, youth and individuals from rural areas.

Core offerings of the Business Incubator are:

 

  • Training & Skills Development
  • Access to Information
  • Advisory Services
  • Company Registration

 

It is the view of the Steve Biko Foundation that in order for South Africa to experience economic growth—in which all members of the population are able to meaningfully participate—entrepreneurship must be supported in grassroots communities. Youth in particular must be empowered with the skills to overcome the legacy of Apartheid and discerning custodians of the nation’s future, economic and otherwise. This is where the Business Incubator will make a vital contribution. By providing access to information, training and advisory services, the Business Incubator will continue to assist individuals and communities to realize their dreams, contributing to the actualization of the South Africa’s collective potential.

The primary objectives of the Business Incubator are to:

 

  • Enable entrepreneurs to explore their ideas and to facilitate implementation in an unintimidating environment;
  • Contribute to the development of an entrepreneurial culture and to inspire a spirit of self-reliance;
  • Assist in the development of sustainable business initiatives;
  • Serve as a platform for similar and complimentary interventions for the benefit of the local community;
  • Employ best practices from South Africa and the international community in the pursuit of these objectives.

To achieve its mandate, the Business Incubator offers four primary services to its constituents:

 

  • Training & Skills Development;
  • Access to Information;
  • Advisory Services;
  • Company Registration.
  • Training & Skills Development

Participants learn about:

 

  • Market Investigation
  • Using a calculator
  • Buying
  • Costing & Pricing
  • Selling
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Money Management
  • Stock Control

Other workshops facilitated by Business Incubator staff include:

 

  • First Steps to Starting Your Business
  • Testing Your Business Idea
  • Tendering
  • Financing Your Business
  • Financial Management for Small Businesses
  • Basic Management for Small Businesses

 

In addition to the aforementioned trainings, which are facilitated by Business Incubator staff, TBI mobilizes a variety of external stakeholders to conduct workshops on topics ranging from HIV/Aids and entrepreneurship to business tax.

A sampling of these trainings include:

 

  • Taxation, South African Revenue Service (SARS)
  • Banking for SMMEs, First National Bank
  • Online Marketing , Virtual Africa Business Solutions
  • Franchising, Eastern Cape Development Corporation
  • Customer Care, Niagara College, Canada
  • Fair Trade Marketing, Niagara College, Canada
  • HIV/Aids and Entrepreneurship, Walter Sisulu University
  • Gender and Entrepreneurship, Walter Sisulu University
  • Basic Computer Skills, Walter Sisulu University

The Business Incubator regularly holds training and skills development opportunities for program participants. For a modest fee, ranging from R20 to R150 entrepreneurs are able to learn the fundamentals of business. Among the trainings facilitated, SBF offers its own Business Basics for Entrepreneurs course which is accredited by the services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).

The Business Basics for Entrepreneurs program comprises the following modules:

 

  • Are You an Entrepreneur?
  • Effective Time Management
  • Types of Business Ownership
  • Marketing Basics
  • Basics of a Business Plan

 

A further training facilitated by Business Incubator staff is Micro-MBA, which is also accredited by the services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).

Access to Information

 

One of the most valuable services the Business Incubator offers to its constituents is access to information; of key importance are internet facilities. According to Internet World Stats, only 10.5% of South Africa’s population utilizes the internet. This is no doubt due to issues of access and affordability, which are particularly pronounced in peri-urban areas such as King William’s Town. In the area, the Business Incubator is one of the few places where members of the community can gain free access to the internet, the local library itself is not even able to provide this service. This feature enables entrepreneurs to access a much broader set of services than those physically available at the Business Incubator and to effectively communicate with potential stakeholders. Alongside access to internet, the Business Incubator also offers a variety of publications relating to the economy as well as the establishment and growth of business ventures.

Advisory Services

 

Also of great importance are the advisory services offered by TBI. Upon entering the centre, constituents are a trained business counselor who walks the path of conceptualization and development with an entrepreneur. The advice offered by counselors ranges from research tips on the viability of an idea, to steering the registration process, to the preparation and submission of tender documents. While counselors support and advise constituents, their involvement is meant to empower users, instill confidence and advance the principle of self-reliance.

Company Registration

 

In addition to the above, a critical service provided by the Business Incubator is company registration. TBI program officers not only advise constituents on the most appropriate structure for their businesses, but they also facilitate the registration process.
Whether a private company, non-profit company, or co-operative, TBI walks emerging entrepreneurs through the registration process at a nominal fee.

Contact Person

Mr. Lukhanyo Kampa
Steve Biko Centre
One Zotshie Street
Ginsberg Township
King William’s Town
Phone: 043-605 6700
Email: lkampa@sbf.org.za