South Africa’s MTN Business has launched a three-year business incubation programme aimed at ICT startups, with the aim of empowering young South African entrepreneurs to become the ICT suppliers of MTN and the country’s leading companies.
The supplier development programme – hosted in partnership with local skills and training provider New Generation Mindset – will see 60 ICT startups participate in a three-year programme, progressing through six phases of training aimed at creating fully self-sufficient companies.
According to MTN Business, the programme is designed to develop ICT providers “of the highest order”.
“Our long-term objective is to develop these entrepreneurs into providers of ICT services of the highest order. Whether they’re serving the consumer market or SME sector, they will in effect be helping to differentiate MTN through the delivery of key technology solutions,” said Alpheus Mangale, chief enterprise officer at MTN Business
“We expect the biggest impact to be from them enabling SMEs in rural and township areas to access services that contribute to their competitiveness. Many of these businesses fall outside of the fold of traditional ICT service providers and we believe that this new generation of ICT entrepreneurs will find a ready market to grow their businesses,” Mangale said.
During the programme, the entrepreneurs will receive skills training, mentorship, business and market support. MTN Business also promises access to finance.
The organisers said graduates of the programme will be positioned to make “an invaluable contribution” to the South African business sector.
“With the advent of the internet and the rapid rate of technological advances, ICT skills have become a crucial component in building any business. We believe that this crop of young entrepreneurs can make an invaluable contribution to making hundreds of small businesses around the country more efficient and competitive,” Mangale said.
The programme is open to black youth-owned registered companies, and which have ideally been in operation for between 12 and 24 months. Entrepreneurs are required to have post-school education or qualifications.
Applications can be made online.