The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have agreed to cooperate in broadening participation in the promotion of incubation and establishment of business incubators.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in Pretoria on 29 October.
The parties also agreed to cooperate in:
- Women economic empowerment by promoting inclusive financing for women
- A supplier development programme focusing on the promotion and cooperatives
- Special economic zones
- Economic infrastructure.
Focus on the SMME sector
The department’s deputy director general, Sipho Zikode, said the vast experience and knowledge that the UNDP brings in these areas will significantly assist South Africa. He added that South Africa had been in the process of strengthening its small medium micro enterprise (SMME) sector.
SA’s incubation system needs improvement
“We have a world class incubation system that still needs to be improved. It delights me knowing that we will be drawing guidance and expertise from the experience of the UNDP’s global network of offices and experts to provide support in the areas of cooperation covered in this MOU,” he said.
The minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said government was in the throes of implementing various interventions to ensure that small enterprises and big businesses have a symbiotic relationship that will boost the development and growth of the country’s SMME sector.
Initiative to boost skills transfer
In September this year, Davies launched the Incubation Support Programme. According to the department, the programme aims to develop enterprises that will absorb and upgrade the vast unskilled labour force, develop new technologies and strengthen the country’s economy, said the department.
This initiative is intended to encourage private sector partnerships with government to foster collaboration between small and big businesses; whereby big businesses assist SMMEs with skills and technology transfer; supplier development and creating marketing opportunities for SMMEs.