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Business hub celebrates five years of growth

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This year marks the fifth anniversary of the REISA Business Incubation Hub in Kathu, a significant initiative that has become a cornerstone of the Gamagara business community.

Yerusha Carsten and Jaco Louw established Maatla Signs in 2017, specialising in industrial signage and branding. The pair joined REISA’s Step Change programme in 2019, which immensely benefitted their strategic and financial acumen. The programme’s impact includes tripling their sales and increasing staff by 50%, marking significant growth and business expansion underpinned by quality training and mentorship​​. Picture: Supplied

THIS year marks the fifth anniversary of the REISA Business Incubation Hub in Kathu, a significant initiative that has become a cornerstone of the Gamagara business community.

Launched in June 2019, the hub was established to foster local enterprise development and stimulate job creation in the region.

In the span of five years, the hub has extended its support to 50 local businesses, with an emphasis on inclusivity, of which 50% of these businesses are owned by local youth and 56% by female entrepreneurs.

This support has catalysed the creation of over 40 jobs and propelled the enterprises to report an almost 140% increase in gross profit.

The statistics underscore the hub’s pivotal role in cultivating a vibrant local business ecosystem and championing the development of small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The establishment of the hub was informed by a detailed feasibility study conducted in the Gamagara and Ga-Segonyana municipalities, aimed at understanding the unique economic challenges and opportunities within these communities. The findings highlighted the urgent need for targeted skills development and ongoing support for local ventures.

The hub’s programmes are designed to enhance entrepreneurs’ business acumen, guiding them through the development of detailed business think documents to deepen their understanding of their business models.

This hands-on approach to business education is crucial, given research findings that less than half of formally established businesses survive in the long term, primarily due to a deficit in comprehensive entrepreneurial skills.

The community operations manager for REISA, Shariefa Rhode, said the success of the hub underscores the importance of targeted support for emerging businesses and highlights its essential role in creating more resilient and sustainable local enterprises and employment opportunities in the Northern Cape.

“As we celebrate this milestone, the hub remains committed to empowering local entrepreneurs, fostering economic growth, and contributing to the thriving future of the Gamagara business community,” said Rhode.

“Our goal is to enhance the success rate of local entrepreneurs by offering adaptable, practical, and feasible programmes that cater to various stages of business development. We aim to create a conducive environment where businesses can flourish, understand the legislative framework of their industries, and extend their services beyond the Northern Cape.

“This initiative is part of REISA’s Enterprise Development Programme, executed in partnership with RAIZCORP. Known for its successful incubator model and acceleration programmes, RAIZCORP has a proven track record of supporting entrepreneurs across different stages of their business journey.

“As the Business Incubation Hub celebrates five years of impactful operation, its contribution to the Gamagara business community and local employment landscape continues to be a beacon of entrepreneurial development and success.”

Nosipho Makine established Lebonolo Holdings in 2015 and offers catering services in Kathu. Despite initial challenges like limited resources and a competitive market, she has carved out a niche with her cooking prowess and engaging social media presence. Makine credits REISA’s Enterprise Development Primer programme for teaching her discipline and perseverance, essential for her business’s gradual success and resilience during the Covid-19 crisis​​. Picture: Supplied
Abram Snyders launched The African Tenure Solutions in 2016 to provide comprehensive infrastructure development in the Northern Cape. Facing challenges like financial constraints and a lack of business knowledge, SNyders’ breakthrough came with the REISA Step Change programme, which enhanced his strategic and operational capabilities, leading to a 300% revenue growth, a 30% increase in staff, and better asset management​​. Picture: Supplied
Khotso Sekhobo expanded Namekhotha Holdings’ services after starting it in 2008 with a general trading focus. He used to struggle with a lack of structure and specialisation. His participation in the REISA Supply Chain Primer programme taught him vital business management skills, leading to a significant contract in 2020, increasing his staff from 38 to 62, and improving profitability through better management practices​​. Picture: Supplied

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