Chairperson’s Quarterly Message

Following our relaunch in April, SABTIA has undertaken the mammoth task of consolidating the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem to provide the essential support required by the incubation industry.

This is an industry that is constantly evolving to meet the dynamic needs of the market and entrepreneurs.   The lack of regulation and coordination in the industry has exposed the sector to ‘fly by night’ or ‘opportunistic’ programmes that are often exclusive, ineffective and have very little impact on small business development.

SABTIA aims to build a more inclusive incubation and acceleration system which will better serve small businesses and start-ups, including those in the informal sector – a sector that has largely been ignored by incubation programmes in the past.

In this regard, we have formed a strategic alliance with the Small Business Development Institute, and will embark on specific initiatives in township economies to ensure that the voices of informal businesses are heard.

We believe that some of the greatest challenges that South African business incubators face are a result of lack of co-ordination and failure to adapt global models to suit local conditions.

In April, we signed a strategic partnership agreement with InBIA, a global network of entrepreneurial ecosystem builders.  This is the first step in our objective to localise global content and best practice.

Together with InBIA, we are working to develop innovative “co-incubation” models to address challenges associated with accessing global markets, innovation and investment into Southern Africa.  I look forward to reporting back on the outcomes of these developments.

I would like to formally welcome the SABTIA Deputy Chairperson, Sibongile Shongwe.  Sibongile is a social entrepreneur at heart and currently serves as the CEO of The Platinum Incubator and is the co-founder of Women in Developing Economies and KZN provincial coordinator for the Progressive Women Movement of South Africa.

She brings with her a wealth of experience in business management and governance specifically within small business and incubation frameworks.

We are pleased to have Advocate Gillium Martines join the SABTIA Board as its Secretary.  Gillium is a retired Advocate and Legal Advisor at CSIR and The Small Enterprise Development Corporation.  He is the board secretary for Seda and his extensive experience in company law and secretarial work is a welcomed asset for Sabtia.

To succeed in our mandate, SABTIA must engage all parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to share their experiences.  We have had exciting engagements with various academic institutes and secured partners in the financial domain.  Together we can build best practice models that can sustain the future of meaningful business incubation in South Africa.

I invite you to join us.

Yours in development,

Zaid Mohidin
SABTIA Chairperson

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