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Stella the Propella: ministerial momentum for Gqeberha incubator

Home Government & Municipal Stella the Propella: ministerial momentum for Gqeberha incubator

YOUNG entrepreneurs should explore opportunities in energy to help South Africa provide sufficient electricity to power the economy.

That was the call from Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, speaking at the official launch of the Township ICT and Digital Technology Incubator in the Neave industrial area of Gqeberha.

The country needed a stable electrical power supply, she said, adding, “The challenge is for SMMEs to come up with innovative solutions. Every crisis brings opportunity”.

Power should be seen as part of the business ecosystem, which includes water and logistics. “There are opportunities in the entire ecosystem,” she said.

The Propella Business Incubator is a partnership between the Nelson Mandela University (49%) and Engeli Enterprise Development.

The township hub is a partnership between Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and Propella Business Incubator (PBI). It aims to bridge the gap between township and technology for grassroot, rural and township entrepreneurs.

Through onsite or virtual ICT support services and a development platform, the incubator offers young entrepreneurs with viable digital or technology concepts the opportunity to transform their ideas into viable businesses.

Nelson Mandela Bay executive mayor Eugene Johnson described the incubator as a good example of the success that can be achieved through co-operative partnerships that include the city, SEDA, academia and business.

“For us it is important that both the formal and informal economy is revived in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“The city is keen to assist any incubator programme that helps young people to realise their potential,” she added.

Speaking after a tour of the facility and meeting the entrepreneurs SEDA chairperson Dr Joy Ndlovu said it was encouraging to see young people wanting to be part of the solution, rather than complaining about what is wrong.

“The youth are doing things for the benefit of the community. They are finding solutions to the problems we face as a society,” she said.

Township incubator manager Nafeesa Dinie said the choice of the location of the incubator was strategic. “It creates a link between the township and the industrial zones of the municipality. The two economies need to merge.”

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