The Telkom FutureMakers is calling on all budding Township entrepreneurs in the ICT sector to be part of the Township Innovation Incubator programme. The 18-month virtual entrepreneurship Programme was piloted in Soweto last year, where the final cohort included eleven technology social entrepreneurs chosen from over one hundred hopefuls.
The Telkom FutureMakers Enterprise and Supplier Development initiative seeks to invest and develop township-based, Black-owned SMMEs in the ICT sector. Following a successful pilot and the current cohort graduating this July, Telkom Township Innovation Incubator Program is now recruiting for the second intake of ICT entrepreneurs across the country.
“Congratulations to the first cohort who’ve completed our pilot and who, through the programme, accessed funding to turn their business ideas into viable and commercially ready businesses,” commented Mmathebe Zvobwo, The Enterprise and Supplier Development Executive at Telkom.
“ICT is globally recognised as one of the industries that can provide tangible opportunities for employment and, more importantly, youth employment. Following a successful pilot to assist young entrepreneurs to seize their future, we are thrilled to embark on a national roll-out in townships around the country, ” concludes, Zvobwo.
Among the guests at the first cohort graduation was the Minister of Small Business Development, who added, “Small businesses are the engine of the township economy. Upscaling their skills through technology will go a long way in encouraging much-needed growth, which as a spin off, leads to the creation of employment. As a department, we profoundly appreciate this endeavour by Telkom. We also offer our full support and will work to ensure that this partnership between the department and Telkom grows from strength to strength.” Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
One of the success stories of Telkom’s FutureMakers Township Incubator Programme is Technology Plumbing Solutions, a technological plumbing solutions company led by Thulani Khumalo from Soweto. Telkom supported Technology Plumbing Solutions to develop a tech-enabled maintenance manhole cover that detects sewer blockage and overflow in real-time.
The Telkom FutureMakers Township innovation Incubator Programme seeks to support township-based ICT Social Entrepreneurs by turning their innovative digital ideas into commercially viable, scalable and investable solutions that can help address social issues in their communities and broader markets.
Telkom calls on the majority of Black-owned businesses, particularly youth-owned businesses in the ICT sector, who have innovative ideas that aim to solve social challenges to apply and be part of the Township Incubator Program. Entrepreneurs should possess a high calibre entrepreneurial mindset, have access to the Internet, and the ability to communicate with internal and external stakeholders.
The successful incumbents will be given access to support in capacity building, technology development, business development, idea generation and validation support, market access, and funding. Telkom FutureMakers is committed to assisting entrepreneurs to seize their future, to unlock and unlimit their potential, broaden markets and turn their dreams into reality.
Applications are currently open and close on 15 September 2022. The Programme will kick off on 1 November 2022.