During this time of crisis and uncertainty caused by the global pandemic and the resultant economic recession we face increasing levels of provincial unemployment cited to be as high as 48.9% when including expanded unemployment, which includes those who have given up on looking for a job.
Yet, amid the gloom there lies the opportunity for economic transformation through accelerating support to the SMME sector and specifically the use of ICT and innovation to build our local economy.
The Propella Satellite Incubator held a media launch on 11th August 2020 attended by members of the Propella Board, SEDA Representatives and local businesses. This opportunity also showcased the winners of the Propella virtual Hackathon which was held on 18th and 19th July 2020.
Through a partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), Propella Business Incubator is expanding its incubation footprint into the township of the Nelson Mandela Metropole, by establishing a Satellite ICT and Digital Technology Incubator as a catalyst for township transformation and job creation.
Dr Ricardo Dames, Propella Board member, said, “The aim is to ensure that we bring incubation services closer to our local communities and ensure that aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs have access to services which will help them to become part of the local and mainstream ICT economy.”
Situated in the Neave Township Industrial Park, the facility is perfectly located for easy accessibility to the surrounding communities with direct linkages to market opportunities within local industries, especially those in proximity of the innovation precinct.
The Propella Satellite Incubator will offer a range of incubation and business development support services to mitigate the risk of failure for emerging entrepreneurs in the early stages of start-up.”
Through onsite or virtual ICT support services and a development platform, Propella Satellite Incubator will offer aspiring entrepreneurs with viable digital or technology ideas the opportunity to transform their ideas into viable businesses.
Andile Yengeni, local Branch Manager of Seda, said, “Through leveraging diverse partnerships, the Propella Satellite Incubator will identify possible linkages for incubatees to access market opportunities and offer ICT-related products, services and solutions linked to the demands of the market.
“We aim to bring about a new generation and next level youth innovators and developers that can bring tech solutions to address the challenges we all face through increased use of information, communication and technology.”
As it is aligned to the main Propella Business Incubator, the Propella Satellite Incubator will focus on 4 key areas of new venture development, namely enterprise development, product or technology development, customer validation and entrepreneurial development.
The facility will offer incubatees access to co-working space, a fully equipped auditorium, meeting rooms, a boardroom and a maker-space lab for design thinking and product development.
Incubatees will have access to a team of experienced mentors and coaches to guide them through their business development journey and participate in a series of training workshops, bootcamps and webinars.
Propella is in the process of screening, selecting, and recruiting aspiring Tech / ICT entrepreneurs to apply to join the first cohort of incubatees for the new Propella Satellite Incubator. To join the incubation programme all you need is an innovative business idea within the ICT/Technology/4IR space.
Propella Satellite Incubator as a satellite branch of the Propella main hub is the go-to hub where township, technology and transformation meet to bring new ideas in the ICT and digital sector to realisation.
Through a collaboration with Nanotek, the Satellite Incubator also created a virtual tour for those that could not attend the event in person and to allow members of the public to view the new business hub from the comfort of their own homes.