Lepharo is a section 21 company registered as seda Ekurhuleni Base Metals Incubator. Lepharo incubates entrepreneurs in the fabrication of copper and zinc metal products through the application of spin casting and metal sheet forming technology.
Until recently, employment and economic activity in the sector was declining. To maintain growth in the metal sector, skills should be developed, entrepreneurial ideas encouraged and a framework provided for technical and commercial support. This is the key objective of the incubator or lepharo. By providing building blocks, local skills can be supported and developed into value-adding businesses. This initiative is an important investment in the metro and the catalyst for heightened focus on small business and its role in a vibrant economy."
SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) will provide most of the funding, with Ekurhuleni Metros local economic development department, Kumba and Impala also contributing significantly in the early stages.
The Base Metals Incubator is expected to become the focal point for developing small companies in the area using copper and zinc. Accredited training, business and marketing support, premises and seed funding will be supplied by consortium members, drawn equally from the public and private sectors.
The primary objective of Lepharo is the identification and training of entrepreneurs to establish new businesses in the Base Metals sector. The new businesses will be developed and supported until they are economically sustainable and no longer need the support of Lepharo.
These goals may be further defined through the statement that Lepharo aims to:
- Enhance quality job creation through SMME development and support.
- Create an environment, which will enable local people to build upon the skills they may possess and develop future businesses that have the flexibility common within the SMME environment.
- Introduce new technologies and markets to potential entrepreneurs to ensure sustainability of the SMMEs
- Develop the skills base necessary through training and equipment to ensure skills enhancement of the SMMEs and to ensure that larger businesses have a retained pool of developing skills that may be of benefit in the future.
- Develop cluster stimulation of SMMEs in the base metals industries
Lepharo wishes to create value to the Consortium members and sponsors through measured attainment of all goals.
The Seda Ekurhuleni Base Metals Incubator strives to be:
- The national centre for SMME development in copper and zinc value creation
- The focal point for technology transfer to SMME businesses creating value from the conversion of copper and zinc
- Active in local community applied skills development relating to copper and zinc utilisation
- Supportive of initiatives to develop previously disadvantaged persons through encouragement of SMME development in value adding to copper and zinc
- The central resource centre for services (commercial, marketing and technological) to SMMEs involved in the creation of value in copper and zinc