Thirty-one information communication technology (ICT) small businesses being incubated at the Seda Nelson Mandela Bay Information Communication Technology Incubator (SNII) have produced solid results generating R6 million in turnover whilst creating a combined 95 direct and indirect jobs in the 2012/13 financial year.
Funded by the SEDA Technology Programme and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, SNII is a hub for emerging ICT entrepreneurs where they thrive and grow. It aims to create successful small businesses in the sector which can create jobs.
“We are excited with the performance of the SNII incubates which places us on a firm footing for continued growth. In 2012/13 the businesses have created 32 direct and 63 indirect jobs with a R6 million turnover. This is an indication that our business support is working while allowing the entrepreneurs to focus on their core business. These results are solid if you consider that about 70% of the businesses are barely a year old while the remainder have been in existence for under three years.
“Between its establishment in 2008 and the 211/12 financial year, SNII incubates have generated a total turnover of about R24, 5 million while funding in the same period amounted to some R12 million. A total of 117 jobs have been created by the small businesses in this period,” says SNII head Sipelo Lupondwana.
Lupondwana says SNII offers emerging ICT entrepreneurs business, infrastructure and technology support such as connectivity, IT support, office space, access to funding, access to market and trade networks and quality management systems among others. Mentoring and coaching is also offered while the SNII also helps commercialising their ideas. The support structures are intended to allow the entrepreneurs to focus on the development of their products.
“We are also pleased that this year three of the businesses, Bran Systems (software development), Shoot 97 (Film) and Rockstar Media (video production) will be graduating from the programme. The three businesses have been with SNII for about three years creating a combined 18 jobs. Six have already graduated since 2008.
“Before they can graduate, businesses must demonstrate a solid understanding of the business, a growth plan as well as a good pipeline of business. They must show a stable turnover and create jobs. The three graduating business will also go through the six-month SNII post-incubation programme which focuses on strategy, quality and financial management,” Lupondwana explains.
Started with eight incubates in 2008, SNII incubates are drawn mainly from the Nelson Mandela Bay area specialising in diverse areas such as mechatronics, software development, hardware telecoms, graphic design, web development, business process outsourcing, videography and production.
Lupondwana adds that SNII will continue to vigorously pursue the growth of new ICT businesses as an enabler for other sectors of the economy.
“ICT is a cross-cutting sector that is a launchpad for other economic sectors to do what they do. For example, in agriculture, tracking systems for livestock alleviate stock theft in areas such as the Karoo. This demonstrates the important role ICT plays in bring other sectors to life,” says Lupondwana.
Author: Lunga Mtshizana