South African SME investment company Awethu has opened applications for its Micro-Business Incubator, with the top three performers to receive equity investment of up to ZAR100,000 (US$8,000) in their startups.
Disrupt Africa reported last year Gauteng-based Awethu was utilising partnerships with South Africa’s Jobs Fund and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) to incubate and invest in entrepreneurs in the province.
Awethu runs six-month incubator programmes for startups, funded by the Jobs Fund, and also recently partnered SEFA to launch a ZAR64 million (US$5.7 million) investment fund for selected startups.
Applications are now open until August 31 for its incubator, with 240 spaces available for the six-month programme that begins in October. The value of the programme is ZAR45,000 (US$3,700), with the best three performers in the incubator to receive equity investments of up to ZAR100,000.
“We have dozens of incredible success stories; young South Africans who have changed their lives and those of their communities through their talent, hard work, and leadership. We coach these entrepreneurs through an incubation programme for six months where we train, support and fund them,” said Yusuf Randera-Rees, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of the Awethu Project.
“During this time the entrepreneurs learn how to formalise and grow successful micro-businesses. The skills learnt include: how to assess whether a market opportunity can be turned into a business; how to perform market research; how to access funding; how to manage their finances and how to recruit and manage a growing team.”
Randera-Rees said the Micro-Business Incubator provided a platform for individuals who want to be successful entrepreneurs but realise the importance of upskilling themselves.
“Applicants are not required to have a matric or a business plan; our call is going out to anyone who is hungry to improve their life by starting or growing their own business. Through our ground-breaking incubation model, we will partner with you to fulfil your ambition and guide you toward your potential. Awethu is where ambition meets opportunity,” he said.
To apply to be part of Awethu’s programme, candidates can SMS ‘Ambition’ to 45345.