Transnet, Shanduka Black Umbrellas launch Richards Bay incubator

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South African non-profit enterprise development organisation Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) has partnered state-owned enterprise Transnet to officially launch its Richards Bay business incubator at the Lakeview Terrace.

The Richards Bay incubator started operating in 2013 following a four-year, ZAR30 million (US$2.5 million) agreement between SBU and Transnet, which supports both the Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth incubators.

The Richards Bay incubator was created due to what SBU describes as a need to assist black business owners in the region in establishing sustainable enterprises, with 26 startups currently taking part in the incubation programme.

SBU’s incubation programme focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as a desirable economic path, and nurturing black-owned businesses in the first three years of their existence through the provision of eight nationwide business incubators, which have so far benefited over 2,000 entrepreneurs.

“The partnership we have with Transnet is very important to us because enables us to reach and support 100 per cent black suppliers in Richards Bay, and develop them to a level where they may qualify for meaningful access to procurement opportunities within the supply chain of the Transnet entities within the region,” said Mark Frankel, SBU chief executive officer (CEO).

Madiboka Chokwe of Transnet said Transnet was building strategic relationships with organisations that can actively work with them to fulfil their goals of enterprise and supplier development.

Incubation clients receive training, mentoring and the provision of business support in the form of office space, a receptionist, boardroom, meeting room facilities and accounting services.

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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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