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The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) today, September 21, launched the Ga-Rankuwa Automotive hub through its partnership with Satec. The incubator is a joint initiative of the Seda Technology Programme (Stp), the Automative Technology Centre (Satec), and the City of Tshwane.

Reports from Seda’s Business Technology Centres show that eighty percent (80%) of incubated small enterprises survive the first two years of trading, a critical stage in the life any small enterprise. Seda’s Executive Manager for the Technology Programme, Mr Ranjit Alummoottil, says the launch of this incubator in the automotive sector will go a long way in assisting small enterprises in this industry – which has been going through a difficult period of late – grow and become sustainable, employment creating enterprises.

“The economic recession that took place during 2008/2009 has forced businesses in the automotive sector to re-evaluate their strategies and to tighten their belts. Many of the automotive operators had to even retrench workers to ensure that their profit margins remain attractive to their shareholders. With the Ga-Rankuwa Automotive hub, small enterprises in and around Ga-Rankuwa that have been operating informally are going to be formalised and placed in the secure environment of an incubator where they learn, find their feet, and flourish,” explains Alummoottil. An initial ten (10) businesses have already been identified to be incubated in the incubator’s first year of existence.

Technology business incubation revolves around empowering small enterprises to use technology to improve the competitiveness of their businesses. The programme currently funds and works directly with 38 incubators across the country in sectors ranging from ICT, aluminium, agro-processing, platinum, and manufacturing, to bio-diesel industries.

Not only do these incubators provide necessary business infrastructure and strategic guidance, but also an environment of learning and sharing in which information, experiences and ideas are freely exchanged. This builds entrepreneurs’ skills and knowledge bases, better preparing them for business in the open market, with a view to increasing profitability and growth.

“In the past financial year, 295 enterprises were created by the Seda incubation programme. These businesses were capacitated with various skills and expertise including business management, financial management, marketing, production and quality management, and all other technical aspects pertinent to running a business in a particular sector. These enterprises collectively created 1517 jobs,” said Alummoottil.

In addition to incubation, the Seda Technology Programme also offers quality management interventions; ensuring small enterprises have access to quality control. The Programme also offers technology transfer, which makes new technology available to Small enterprises across the country.

ISSUED BY: Seda - Small Enterprise Development Agency
MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO: Marius de Villiers - Senior Manager: Corporate Communications & Marketing
E-MAIL: mdevilliers@seda.org.za
TEL: 012 441 1219
MOBILE: 072 059 6359
Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2012