Organised by the Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (CfR/RI) under the slogan, Start, Launch, Build your Business with us
, the event at the College’s Khayelitsha campus brought together aspiring young entrepreneurs, those who have been assisted by the CfE \ RI and making it big in business, as well as business mentors and investors, among others.
Organisations such as SEFA, National Youth Development Agency, Business Partners, IDC, Thunda Fund and Standard Bank gave insight into the process of funding for entrepreneurs while the Cape Chamber of Business and Industry, Siyakha, SMTAX and SEDA spoke on non-financial support.
As CfE/RI Manager Mr Steve Reid put it in his closing remarks, the purpose of the event was to provide holistic support for budding entrepreneurs throughout their journey to success. “If you ask successful entrepreneurs how they got there, you will probably get many answers. But all honest successful entrepreneurs will say ‘I didn’t get here by myself. I’m standing on someone else’s shoulders. I’m here because someone else helped me. Someone mentored, someone did something”.
Those who have benefited from the CfE/RI program agreed with Mr Reid and had interesting stories to tell. After financial challenges forced Yandisa Langa to drop out from studying a management assistant course at False Bay TVET College he worked as a security guard and witnessed the pain of a restaurant manager when he struggled to get fresh vegetables on time and in good quality.
When CfE/RI called for students and former students to join its program he didn’t hesitate and ended up winning the Poster & Pitch competition in 2016 which boosted his Langa Mountain Enterprise, a tomato farm he established in Fish Hoek. The company has done well and employs up to five people. “If I had not been in the program I don’t think I would be where I am today,” he says. “The program helped me a lot in terms of business growth because it got us business mentors, some business models and systems to apply into our businesses. We were also taught about legalities, finances and dealing with workers. The college has helped to get a good profile and now I’m being funded by the Department of Agriculture so the business is doing well”.
Terine Lott-Cupido of Empower Link Services, a human resources consulting company, was one of the winners of Poster & Pitch competition last year, and echoed his sentiments. “When I started with CfE/RI I had only an idea and now my business has been in operation for over a year with one employee and a network of key partners that I collaborate with to deliver services to our customers. I think the centre is a fantastic platform for entrepreneurs who want to start a business. They just need to get the right advice from the right people. One step at a time one action a day and see what great progress you will make after a year. I’m an example of that”.
Key note speaker Lufefe Nomjana of Spinach King, which is offering healthy eating and healthy life style alternatives and products based in Khayelitsha with branches around the Western Cape and expanding to Africa and Europe, had some inspirational words for the up and coming entrepreneurs.
“That is something that happened because of starting an initiative to solve the problem instead of starting an initiative to make money and take care of your problem. The problem that you are solving will take care of you."
At the event, the 2018 Poster & Pitch top three winners were announced, with the first prize going to Nkosiyapha Msezane for Phaya Cycles, second place went to Bandile Kona for Ingcongolo Creatives and Zamani Goba for Efficiency Projects took third prizes.
For more information about the Centre for Entrepreneurship\Rapid Incubator go to www.falsebayincubate.co.za