New incubator boost for Bay entrepreneurs

At the opening of the Veeplaas Business Hive are, from left, councillor Mbulelo Gidane, mayor Athol Trollip and Ntombe Khaya, who runs a small business from the premises
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Veeplaas hive offers range of services to help grow business

Six Port Elizabeth entrepreneurs were yesterday officially given the keys to promising business futures along with their new premises at the Enterprise Development Centre in Veeplaas, where they have set up shop within a new business incubator initiative.

And among the first customers at a start-up bakery enterprise there was Bay mayor Athol Trollip.

Trollip not only officiated over the launch, but also dipped into his wallet to support emerging businesswoman Ntombe Khaya, who plans to develop her bakery and catering service from her new business kiosk.

The Veeplaas Business Hive comprises a number of individual components and services, all directed at stimulating entrepreneurship and the Veeplaas township economy, and assisting entrepreneurs with a range of development and support services.

One of the more important benefits of the hive is access to the internet and a Wi-Fi service.

In reinforcing one of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s development pillars, that of creating an “Opportunity City”, Trollip urged both entrepreneurs and community members to make full use of the new services.

“If you work hard and commit yourself to grow your business, the municipality will give you full support.

“We are doing this because we understand that a successful local business will not only benefit the owner, it will also assist in creating jobs and be an inspiration to others,” Trollip said.

Again proverbially putting his money where his mouth is, Trollip whipped off one of his shoes during his address to demonstrate his personal support for RV Footwear, launched by a first-time entrepreneur.

Khaya, 49, was thrilled to be accommodated in an incubator kiosk.

“We have received funding which we are using to buy equipment.

“With the assistance of the hive, we will be producing bakery items and even food like stews, which we will be selling in our community,” she said.

Khanya Apleni, 39, has been making clothes, and sportswear in particular, from the age of 14.

“Up until now, I had been operating from a shack. I am very happy to now have a formalised, professional environment in which to work and service customers,” Apleni said.

“To me, security is one of the most important benefits of being here.

“We have low rentals, access to business services and things like electricity and the internet.

“I am confident that my business is really going to grow from here.”

Sinethemba Maxengana, 26, who also previously operated from a shack, said he had high hopes for his administrative services business.

“Operating from here is going to help me a lot. It will make my business far more professional,” he said.

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