Students Complete Business Incubation Programme

Employ your peers, Motheo TVET college principal urges

A group of students from Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein has completed an ambitious programme of business incubation that is expected to help them become employable or employers themselves.

The first bunch of students were given a warm farewell into the uncertain world of entrepreneurship at a colourful occasion held at the President Hotel in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, after undergoing 18 months of practical training on how to run their businesses.

The flagship programme was set up in 2017 and students are imparted with vital and practical on the job experience where they are required to run legitimate businesses under the guidance and supervision of the Incubator Programme Co-ordinator and lecturers.

The businesses the students specialised in during their training programme ranged in scope from online media and advertising, clothing and textile, construction, fashion designing and sales.

CR8 Interactive Bio which specialises in graphic designs and leather engraving services, Lesoul Projects dealing with building and civil constructions, SomeStuff Designs crafting unique clothing labels, and Neostain company in the design and advertising were some of the ventures certificated after the infant programme.

Flash Enterprises dealing specifically in women clothing, including traditional and casual wear, as well as Re Bararo Constructionwhich deals in steel works, also passed the test and were recognised.

Other youth propelled companies certificated at the same function include Par Studio, which manufactures and designs textile, and Madillo Wardrobe which is into designs of both men and women outfits.

Motheo TVET College principal Dipiloane Phutsisi challenged the young business people to go out into the world and change the socio-economic landscape through helping to absorb many of their peers who are neither in work, training nor education.

She said the onus is not on making profits, but rather helping the country pull out of the doldrums of unemployment, hunger and inequality.

“If you are in business for the money then you are in the wrong place. Look at Gauteng where young looters your age trash bottle stores just so that they can get a hold on a six-pack of beer. How long do you think that beer will sustain them? It is up to you as young business people to turn the tide and help out your peers at the same time,” she said.

Trained under the college’s ‘Rapid Incubator and Centre for Entrepreneur Development’, the students are all diploma holders in business studies. They were taken through concepts such as Business Facilitation, Start Ups and Build.

“The hope of three million young people who are not at work or school hang on your shoulders. You have to give them a sense of being worthy South Africans through the provision of job opportunities,” urged Phutsisi.

The college was partnered in this programme by the University of the Free State and funded by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), which helped set up the centre for the training of incubates as well as source essential material to enable the students put their business ideas into practice.

Since its establishment in 2017, the programme has helped train 524 students and members of the community in entrepreneurship as well as contribute in the formation of 14 small and medium sized businesses.

Apart from the certificates, the students were also given a goodie-bag each consisting of business essentials including a tablet smart phone to help in their newly assumed ventures.

By: Ramosidi Matekane