Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe on Friday officially launched the Centre for Entrepreneurship (Cef) in Butterworth, in the Eastern Cape, as part of a departmental initiative to establish platforms at local further education and training (FET) colleges in a bid to develop local entrepreneurs.
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The centre, located at the King Hintsa FET College for Agriculture, was allocated seed funding of R3-million towards its Phase 1 establishment, which would include an effective monitoring and evaluation system.
“Once all systems have been set up, we will move into the second phase, which will entail extensive training and the linkage of the centre to other entrepreneur incubation programmes, as well as to the Small Enterprise Development Agency,” commented Thabethe.
She added that the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) entrepreneurship development strategy was aimed at exposing dormant and potential entrepreneurs to avenues through which their business ambitions could be realised.
“Attempts have been made in recent years to provide entrepreneurship development support in a more coherent and comprehensive way, particularly in light of the catalytic role that developmental centres play in the advancement of communities,” she asserted.
Cef director Jomo Jacobs added that the centre would become a valuable addition to the King Hintsa College’s already formidable curriculum on agro-processing studies. Agri SETA contact information.
“The practical studies that we will be offering will go a long way in addressing the skills shortage and lack of work experience that sees most of our unemployed graduates struggle to secure jobs. We pledge to grow this centre into a pioneering institution in agro-processing studies,” he said.
Thabethe added that the centre aimed to educate in such a way as to ensure that the establishment of business ventures became a viable choice rather than a last resort for graduating students.
“Investments geared towards developing entrepreneurship should lead students on a path to self-sufficiency,” she said.
The DTI was currently partnering with the University of Johannesburg to offer capacity building training for Cef lecturers and to develop selection criteria for potential candidates
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