India-Africa entrepreneur incubation centre to open in September
THE $1 million state-of-the-art IndiaAfrica Incubation Centre in Harare to train entrepreneurs in various business areas will start operating next month.
Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said the renovations on the workshop and offices at a building bought by the Government in Waterfalls industrial area where the incubation centre is located has been completed.
It is believed the centre would go a long way towards the provision of equipment and technical expertise, which SMEs require.
“On the 1st of September we’ll be launching what we call the virtual incubation system whereby we’re going to select between 20 and 50 best SMEs from each province and they will work with partners that we’ve identified,” she said.
The incubation system is a concept in which entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs are trained in a business area of their interest on different periods of time ranging between three to 18 months depending on the complexity of each particular line of business.
Upon successful completion of training, the graduates would be assisted with funding to enable them to procure their own machinery and venture into business.
“We’ll select the best 50 that we are going to incubate for growth and their products would be challenged into the mainstream economy and for exports.
After that, when they are able to stand on their own, we’ll then take another group of 50,” Minister Nyoni said.
The centre is expected to house 26 different manufacturing technologies ranging from food, electrical accessories and construction.
Bulawayo Chamber of SMEs chairperson, Mr Energy Majazi said incubation centres play an important role in ensuring appropriate workstations for the emerging entrepreneurs.
“We’re quite aware that a national incubation centre is on the cards but I can’t divulge more information pertaining to that. We, however, have small incubation centres at provincial level,” he said.
“These are helpful in the sense that they have reasonable rentals and one is guaranteed of a long duration at that particular workstation.”
He said incubation centres also go a long way in ensuring the growth of SMEs.
“If one is to be housed in an incubation centre, it gives them an opportunity for recognition by various stakeholders and their businesses will be easily accessible.
“As the chamber of SMEs, we can come in by sourcing items to assist in running entrepreneurs business at no cost.
“Through working with the local authorities, we also enable those SMEs housed at incubation centres to build their own factories,” he said — @BiancaMlilo.
Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni