By – SAnews.gov.za
Small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in Limpopo will now have access to mentorship and training at their doorstep following the launch of the Tourism Business Incubators by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe, on Friday.
Tourism Business Incubators are a virtual vehicle used to assist businesses with support interventions to tourism enterprises clustered along a thriving tourism network.
“Through the incubators, SMMEs are able to access remote business support services facilitated by experienced business development advisors, who offer mentorship, coaching and cluster training that is tailored to their needs.
“This will ensure the viability and sustainability of SMMEs in the Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality,” said Deputy Minister Thabethe.
The Phalaborwa incubator is one of a few that will be launched across the country as part of a greater objective of the revised National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) 2016-2026 to ensure the sustainable growth and development of the tourism industry.
“Tourism in Limpopo is thriving, and it is critical that its socio-economic benefits are enjoyed by all.
“We identified Phalaborwa as a suitable town to establish a Tourism Business Incubator to promote economic inclusion, and ensure that new entrants into the industry are viable,” said the Deputy Minister.
The Tourism Department has set aside a more than R50 million investment to advance sustainable tourism SMMEs in Phalaborwa. This will be done through the Wild Activity Hub at the Phalaborwa Gate of the Kruger National Park as well as the new Shangoni Gate of the Park close to Giyani.
“SMMEs have the potential to create sustainable employment opportunities, and to contribute to the economic development of local economies. We need to leverage on this potential to grow the sector and our economy.
“We have thus far established business incubators in Moruleng, Pilanesberg in the North West Province, and Manyeleti, Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga province. The two incubators are operating very well, and we are confident that the Phalaborwa incubator will be a success,” said the Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister said she believes this investment and development will stimulate economic growth in the region and thus spur entrepreneurial opportunities.
The department also hosted a workshop in partnership with the Limpopo Department of Economic Development and Environment and Tourism (LEDET) to present the services and initiatives provided to SMMEs under the Tourism Enterprise Development and Support Programme.
The Tourism Enterprise Development and Support Programme addresses the challenges facing businesses in the sector concerning information about funding and market access opportunities.
For more information on the Tourism Enterprise Development and Support Programme and the up-coming workshops in the various provinces, interested persons can visit www.tourism.gov.za.
The next Enterprise Development Awareness and information sharing event will take place in Mahikeng, North West, 5 March 2018.