By: Thandisizwe Mgudlwa – AfricanBrains – 17 May 2012
So Cape Town is showing the way.
The city wants to fulfill its ambition of being the premier capital of entrepreneurship, for the betterment of society.
And this week it took another giant step closer to its dream, when it opened a new chapter during a media launch to announce the Cape Town Activa Web Portal.
The portal has a vast array of online resources, tools and links for those who want to start and develop a business or secure employment in the Cape Town city.
Cape Town Activa is a City initiative that aims to develop a world-class ecosystem for entrepreneurs and job-seekers that will transform Cape Town into a city that is open for business and attractive to outside investors. The initiative was established to create an enabling environment for enhanced collaboration among public and private sector stakeholders interested in entrepreneurship.
The concept is based on Barcelona Activa of 1986, with the City of Cape Town appointing The Business Place eKapa as implementing agent in 2011.
A delegation had then traveled to Barcelona in February on a fact finding mission and to sign an information sharing agreement.
The project team was assembled in December 2011 and began work on 7 deliverables.
CTA’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs and job seekers by connecting them to organisations, industry initiatives and places that provide valuable and practical resources to bridge the gap between where they are and where they need to be.
The key mandates are to remove barriers and unlock opportunities by providing a first-stop solution for all entrepreneurs and job seekers.
City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environment and Spatial Planning, Belinda Walker, said in her keynote address at the launch: “Cape Town is positioning itself as an Opportunity City for entrepreneurs and we continue to work on removing barriers to entry. Cape Town Activa is one of our chief initiatives which will create the enabling environment that will allow entrepreneurs to seize these opportunities.”
“All players in this exciting space are encouraged to get connected and explore the potential for renewed business prospects in Cape Town and citizens to make use of the information and support provided by the web portal,” Walker added.
With the launch of the online portal, the City’s vision to become a lucrative economic centre for entrepreneurship and small business is now one step closer to being realised.
CTA also seeks to lobby issues facing entrepreneurs and small business owners, ultimately giving them a unified voice, and provide a first stop solution to anyone operating in this space. From an individual with a business idea, but no plan to get it off the ground; to a business owner in the first few years of operation requiring access to an incubator environment; or an established business owner looking to take their venture to the next level – it just got a whole lot easier with the development of the new online resource.
Lavendra Naidoo, General Manager of The Business Place eKapa, the Implementing Agency of the Cape Town Activa initiative, commented on this latest announcement that will see technology driving economic development: “Every internet café, public library and smart phone just became an Activa branch, thanks to the new user-friendly web portal. We are very excited that this resource-rich portal will now be accessible to anyone with an internet connection, negating the need to catch a train or take a taxi to an Activa centre.”
Furthermore, by connecting entrepreneurs to organisations keen to support their endeavours, exciting business potential is maximised. CTA bridges the gap between where these small business owners are currently and where they want to be. In addition, the initiative seeks to contribute to the development of human capital by creating a mechanism to make job-seekers in the city more employable and direct them towards support services wherever possible.
A key component of this business ecosystem is the support organisation network. These organisations provide a myriad of skills, training, information and tools for entrepreneurs that offer a catalyst to economic development. For any organisation looking to offer such support and become involved in a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem mandated by the City, the possibility of an exciting partnership awaits by registering on the Web Portal to ensure the best possible service offering to the citizens of Cape Town.