SA, India in MoU to develop youth-owned startups

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South Africa’s Black Business Council has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India’s National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) to develop youth-owned enterprises in South Africa through the creation of incubation centres.

NSIC is a public sector enterprise part of India’s Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), while the Black Business Council is a collective of national organisations representing business.

The MoU focuses on cooperation in MSME sector and boosts the Black Business Council’s efforts to economically empower marginalised groups in South Africa through the NSIC’s Rapid Incubation Programme, with five Rapid Incubation Centres to be established in the country.

India’s minister of MSMEs Shri Kalraj Mishra said the signing of MoU between the two organisations would further strengthen India’s commitment to cooperate with South Africa in developing MSMEs in the country and be partner in the economic transformation of South Africa.

“India-South Africa cooperation is about sharing knowledge and expertise, exchange of best practices, supporting innovation and building capacity and skills,” he said.

“We believe that these two nations have great prospects for synergising their complementarities in areas of industry, services, trade and technology especially in the field of MSMEs.”

He said MSMEs dominated the industrial landscape of India, providing employment to some 80 million people and contributing 45 per cent of manufacturing output and over 40 per cent of aggregate exports.

“With South Africa, although our political relations are warm and friendly, economic ties have to be further nurtured to emerge stronger, given the geostrategic position of both countries,” the minister said.

“South Africa as a member of SADC can be a good partner for Indian businesses. Its manufacturing and technical capabilities make it a good springboard for doing business in Africa. Similarly, India offers South African companies an excellent location for addressing the huge domestic Indian market as well as the wider Asian market.”

He said he believed there was still much untapped potential that can be leveraged by MSMEs in both countries, especially with regard to technology.

“In today’s technologically connected and digitally linked world, this task has become easier. E-commerce and online businesses are emerging in a major way and I would not be surprised if down the road, e-businesses became as important as brick and mortar enterprises.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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