Business incubators assist startups by providing the funding and mentorship needed by young entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.
Business incubators are mostly funded by private organizations, however, universities, entrepreneurs, and the government also take part in promoting startups during their early development stages.
Business Incubators in South Africa
There are a good number of reputable business incubators in South Africa. These incubators have contributed in no small measure to the growth of the South African economy, especially through their impact on the private sector.
Here are some of the top business incubators in South Africa.
1. Transnet Hub
Transnet Enterprise Development Hub is one of the newly launched business incubators in South Africa which aims at assisting smaller enterprises and new businesses in participating in the economy.
The Hub is in collaboration with several organizations which are also interested in assisting upcoming entrepreneurs. These organizations include:
- Department Of Small Business
- Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
- National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
- South African Revenue Services (SARS)
- Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP)
- Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)
Transnet Hub offers the following services to SMES.
- Business development and support services
- Financial support
- Procurement Advisory Services
- TAX, PAYE, VAT and other related services
Transnet Hub focuses mainly on enterprises owned by black individuals. These individuals could be youths, women or people living with disabilities.
2. SA Business Hub
SA Business Hub is one of the top business incubators in South Africa providing business opportunities and workshops to aspiring entrepreneurs. Their services are aimed at empowering these entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully build their own business.
Their workshops include manufacturing, marketing, and other business aspects necessary for building and managing a business.
SA Business Hub supports prospective entrepreneurs that are interested in the following areas.
- Manufacturing Soaps & Detergents
- Manufacturing Coffins
- Website Design Training Course
- Manufacturing Tombstones
- Manufacturing Caskets
- Funeral Parlour Business
- Fiberglass Manufacturing
3. The Innovation Hub
This hub is was established by the Gauteng Provincial Government. It offers a number of incubation programmes in the following areas.
- Bioeconomy (agro-processing and pharmaceutical)
- Smart Industries (ICT and advanced manufacturing)
- Green Economy
The Innovation hub provides several innovation, development and skill acquisition programmes which are aimed at empowering aspiring entrepreneurs in the Gauteng region.
Some of its skill development programmes include the CoachLab. The CoachLab offer skills development courses like
- CoachLab Engineering & ICT
- CoachLab Green
- CoachLab Industry Exposure
4. Shaduka Black Umbrellas
Shaduka Black Umbrellas was established with the aim of addressing the problems faced by black-owned emerging businesses in South Africa. It is a non-profit business incubator partnering with various organizations in the private sector, civil society and also with the government.
Shaduka Black Umbrellas provides support and mentorship to hardworking and dedicated entrepreneurs through several programs.
It offers several benefits through its programmes which make it easier for young businesses to get their feet on the ground. Some of these benefits include:
- Office space
- Computers, printers, internet access, and e-mail
- Business software
- Telephone and reception services
- Drivers and vehicles
- Mentorship program
- Networking with businesses
5. SEDA Incubation
SEDA Incubation is one of the largest and most popular business incubators in South Africa. It has more than 20 incubation centers focusing on many sectors of the country.
It is actively involved in empowering start-ups and enterprises through several programs. Its centres are mainly focused on Technology focused startups. Some provide training in the use of technologies and others provide support to technology-based startups.
6. Swiss Business Hub SA
Swiss Business Hub SA is a business incubator based in Pretoria which aims to offer opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Southern and Eastern Africa. it offers business incubators services like:
- Market information
- Certification support
- Detailed market and product analysis
- Search for distributors
- Support for the establishment of communication channels
- B2B / B2C sales pipeline development
- Individual consulting and coaching of SMEs
- Site location evaluation
- Organizing events and fact-finding missions for Swiss companies.
7. Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay is one of the top business incubators in South Africa providing financial assistance to small business to enable them to remain long-term suppliers to the economy.
The company believes that entrepreneurs are innovators who assist the economy to develop through the creation and supporting of small business. This has led them to be actively involved in promoting small businesses in South Africa.
Raizcorp was established in 2000 to serve entrepreneurs at different stages of business. It is considered to be the only genuine business incubator in Africa that offers business support for hardworking entrepreneurs to enable them to succeed in their business ventures.
- Partnership Opportunities: their equity partnership opportunities provide business guidance and support that help entrepreneurs scale up their business.
- Corporate Sponsors: Raizcorp provides corporate sponsors to entrepreneurs. These sponsors have access to quality suppliers and make things a little easier for entrepreneurs by improving their business operations and increasing profits.
9. ABBC – BizQube Incubator
ABBC is a South African company that specializes in providing innovative solutions in the manufacturing industry.
Their solutions are aimed at making enterprise development sustainable. They are mostly focused on enterprises owned by black women. ABBC’s main service is to assist emerging businesses with funds from other sources.
They run a BizQube incubator which empowers science graduates interested in growing technology-based businesses.
The company has been able to assist several entrepreneurs in various sectors of the economy. It has gone ahead to provide more development opportunities in the food, cosmetic, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors.
10. Timbali Technology Incubator
Timbali Technology Incubator is one of the top business incubators in South Africa. It offers opportunities to low skilled, young, inexperienced, unemployed rural people who are mostly women.
Timbali aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs by providing an enabling environment that will make starting and managing a business easier.
The services are mostly focused on improving the survival rate of start-up businesses during their early years (which is usually the first three years). They do this by offering the following services.
- Technology packaging
- Financing facilitation