South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday announced his government plans to expand support to business incubation programs in the country. The government will be upping its funding support towards these incubators in a bid to boost entrepreneurship in South Africa.
President Ramaphosa made this announcement during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) made yesterday, Thursday, Feb. 7.
The SA government runs several incubation programs, in which the entrepreneurs are given a physical space to work from, alongside shared infrastructure and services including access to fast internet connection. They are also linked to specialized knowledge, training in the use of cutting edge technology, access to funding, and links to the market.
The SA government-backed incubation spaces now total 51, with an additional 10 enterprise supplier development, 14 rapid youth incubators. President Ramaphosa said the government wants to expand these programs further given the positive impact they have had on the country’s economy.
“Given the key role that small businesses play in stimulating economic activity and employment – and in advancing broad-based empowerment – we are focusing this year on significantly expanding our small business incubation program,” said Ramaphosa.
During his speech, Ramaphosa also unveiled the SA government plans to open township digital hubs in four yet to be named provinces. More is said to soon follow.
“We expect these hubs to provide most needed entrepreneurial service to small and medium enterprises in the rural areas and townships, but more especially to young people who want to start their businesses. Our greatest challenge is to create jobs for the unemployed of today while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow.”