RLabsU launching 12 campuses across Cape Town

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Cape Town-based social impact incubator RLabs is rolling out 12 RLabsU campuses across Cape Town, offering free programmes aimed at developing digital entrepreneurs.

RLabs launched the RLabsU initiative in October of last year in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu in partnership with the College of Cape Town, with community members offered courses in small business management and introduction to computers.

The initiative is now being scaled across Cape Town, with RLabs launching 12 RLabsU campuses over the next six weeks alongside partners such as the Bandwidth Barn Khayelitsha, Omidyar Network and the City of Cape Town.

The 12 locations are in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Strandfontein, Atlantis, Delft, Blue Downs, Rylands, Rocklands, Hanover Park, Heideveld, Manenberg and Athlone, with all set to be operating by July 2, according to RLabs co-founder Marlon Parker.

“The goal is to develop and equip 50,000 community members each year in three years with this decentralised skills model that leverages existing community spaces and assets,” Parker told Disrupt Africa.

“This new model leverages existing MOOCs, academic partnerships and creative commons content that is contextualised providing relevant training programmes to communities who are unable to access these programmes.”

Community members had previously accessed the courses by word of mouth, social media and messaging apps, but RLabs is scaling up awareness, not least through the launch of a mobile platform where community members can subscribe to various campuses and receive updates on courses that are currently being offered.

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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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