The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), situated in Middelburg, provides entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to enter the stainless steel industry. The MSI aims to create an environment where new and emerging enterprises are able to set-up business, and with professional support and development, become sustainable on the long term.
The South African stainless steel industry has experienced a steady annual growth over the past few years, but it was found that one of the major constraints facing newly established SMME's was the access to world-class manufacturing capacity and working capital.
The MSI therefore provides a range of infrastructure and facilities, similar to those found in well-established businesses, at extremely affordable rentals to the participating entrepreneurs. MSI's support also includes qualified expert personnel who are able to guide the emerging enterprise effectively to ensure a high rate of success. In addition, emerging enterprises are able to utilise equipment at the MSI that will enable them to manufacture quality products without having to make an expensive investment into equipment and infrastructure.
The MSI aims to create an environment where new and emerging enterprises are able to set-up business, and with professional support and development, become sustainable on the long term.
One of the critical success factors identified by the MSI, is the ability to assist the enterprises in the marketing and promotion of their products. Few South Africans who enter the manufacturing field, have the necessary skills or experience to market and administer their enterprise over and above the manufacturing of their products. The typical emerging entrepreneur is enthusiastic, but lacks the multi-faceted experience to be the worker, manager, marketer and accountant all in one.
The MSI therefore offer a range of administrative and accounting assistance is also offered to the enterprise, as well as regular training in a variety of facets of business.
- Serviced floor space
- Relevant machinery and equipment in a centralised workshop
- Provision of know-how and technical expertise
- Skills training
- Support and guidance in business management, marketing and financial management
- Establishment of export markets
The most challenging aspect of this programme is the identification of viable products, which could be manufactured by the SMME's. However, a whole range of marketable products have already been identified and marketed, and includes the following:
- Corporate Gifts
- Furniture and Household products
- Braai Accessories
- Office and Industrial Equipment
- Enclosures & Security Fences
- Signs and Boards
- Catering and Health Equipment
The foundations have been laid for a sustainable entrepreneurial project that will positively develop the entrepreneurs involved. They, in-turn will create long-term job opportunities for others and effectively grow the stainless steel sheet metal industry in the Mpumalanga Province.