First Tourism Enterprise Incubator launched in Sandton

The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) is pleased to announce the establishment of its very first tourism enterprise incubator in the heart of Sandton’s business district. The incubator, which had been in the planning phase for a few months, became operational on 1 August 2015 with an initial intake of 9 tourism SMME entrepreneurs.

Located within the Inanda Greens office complex in Wierda Valley on premises sponsored by Credit Suisse, the incubator has capacity to host up to 16 enterprises per intake and features fully kitted workstations, offices for mentors and facilitators, and meeting rooms.

The incubator operates from Monday to Friday and offers a basket of targeted and focussed business development services comprising advisory services, coaching, mentoring, skills development training, market access facilitation, and access to finance through TEP’s own Ikwezi Tourism Facility which provides financing for up to R5m.

Residency in the incubator ranges from 6 months to a full year, depending on the requirements of the enterprise being incubated.

Bringing SMEs into the economy 

The aim of an incubator is to support young and emerging enterprises to accelerate their growth, increase their chances of becoming sustainable and graduate them into the mainstream economy.

According to Dr Salifou Siddo, the TEP Chief Executive, the TEP incubator initiative fits squarely into the organisation’s continuously evolving strategy of providing relevant and quality business development support services to its SMME clients.

Says Dr Siddo “the establishment of this enterprise incubator marks another milestone in TEP’s quest to evolve into a viable and self-sustaining SMME support organisation which is able to provide the full range of business development services SMME’s require in order to grow and create much needed jobs. The TEP enterprise incubator also fulfils the requirements of the growing lists of corporate clients that have partnered with TEP’s Enterprise and Supplier Development Solutions (ESDS) and who are looking for cost-effective ways of providing support to their ESD beneficiaries”.

A monitoring and evaluation mechanism is built into the enterprise incubator and impact will be measured by jobs created as well as turnover growth generated by incubatees. An aftercare programme will also be put in place to monitor SMME’s after they have graduated out of the incubator.

TEP has appointed Mr. Ntokozo Luvuno, a Business Development Consultant at TEP’s head office, to be the coordinator of the newly established enterprise incubator and Rob Cusens as the incubator’s Resident Expert.

Mr. Luvuno and Mr. Cusens are SMME business development experts who have long standing track records with TEP and who enjoy a great deal of respect among TEP clients.