The Deputy Minister of Tourism Elizabeth Thabethe was in Pilanesberg in the North West, to assess the impact and progress made by the Tourism Enterprise Development Incubator programme. The incubatorprogramme is a model used to facilitate provision of business support interventions to tourism enterprises.
The programme focuses on selected viable existing Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) that are affiliated to a local tourism association.
“Six months since we launched this programme, we are confident of the strides and positive that this initiative has made to the SMMEs in the Moses Kotane Municipality, and we hope to roll out this programme countrywide, budget permitting”, said Deputy Minister Thabethe.
The Incubator programme was launched in October 2016, with 50 incubatees selected to participate in the programme for a period of three years. Business development needs assessment, a growth plan, market access assistance among the key services provided by the programme.
“The emphasis on oversight is critical and important to us to quantify the value of public funds in our projects”, the Deputy Minister concluded.
Giving testimony on the benefits of being part of the incubator programme, Refilwe Tladi owner of Thalerra Tours said she joined the programme six months into her business and can report growth in the business, which she attributes to the programme.
“I was a one-person business and did everything on my own. The demand was high and I had to employ people in order to help me run my business. I am proud that I have since created employment in the sector”,she said.
Over the past three months, the SMMEs who are part of the programme have 115 sustained jobs recorded, and a revenue of over R2 million. Through the programme, incubatees will receive an 18-month financial training, in partnership with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.