Help on offer for emerging Nelson Mandela Bay construction firms
Aspiring Nelson Mandela Bay entrepreneurs have a chance to push their businesses to the next level with outcome-driven coaching.
The municipality’s economic development and tourism department has teamed up with the National Construction Incubator (NCI) to assist firms in the construction sector to become “formidable forces”.
The city’s economic development head, Anele Qaba, said smaller firms in the construction sector often reached a ceiling early in their development.
“This is because they are unable to develop their businesses beyond the survival stage mainly due to managerial and operational constraints,” he said.
The NCI, a female-led organisation, has become a mentor to small medium enterprises (SMEs) by developing a model to mould sustainable businesses, create jobs and contribute positively to the economy.
Established in 2006, the NCI is a public benefit organisation mandated to develop and mentor emerging construction companies across the country.
Chaired by Dr Joy Ndlovu, it supports 369 businesses.
Qaba said the programme would identify emerging Bay contractors who have demonstrated potential to develop into a formidable entity.
The business must already have grade one to five as per the construction and industry development board (CIDB) financial grading.
The programme, Qaba said, would push the firms to achieve a financial grade three or higher registration on the CIDB register of contractors.
“The programme will provide business support services including business administration, financial management and technical support, as well as generic business administration, HR management and statutory compliance.”
The NCI’s core business is to develop emerging contractors through the infusion of both technical and business administration skills aligned with the introduction of technology to enhance the efficiency of their businesses.
The NCI is aimed at providing support to selected participants for up to three years, by which time each emerging contractor should have advanced by at least one financial level above his or her entry point on the CIDB register and be capable of operating unassisted in the open market.
The NCI has 11 branches across the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Limpopo.
Contractors within the Bay can get help from the NCI at 85 Burman Road, Deal Party, Port Elizabeth.
The programme has four phases with specific intervention packages to ensure holistic development of the contractor.
The first phase, the outreach programme, runs for six months, during which time the contracting business is introduced to the industry.
This is achieved through workshops, networking platforms, compliance support and tendering support.
Boardroom and office facilities are also provided where needed.
The pre-incubation period runs for a further 18 months, with a prime focus on keeping the company’s compliance status up to date.
During this stage a marketing and business model will also be developed.
In the mainstream incubator programme, the construction contracting businesses are fine-tuned to join the mainstream incubator programme after 12 months.
The post-incubation programme can be defined as the programme through which for the duration of the year graduation contractors may apply to be granted post-incubator status.
The construction incubation model is one of — if not the only — models that can make a significant impact on addressing the challenges faced by emerging contractors in SA.
It has been lauded as a solution to skills shortages.
The NCI operates through the values of commitment and honesty, innovation and excellence, integrity and respect, reliability and teamwork, leadership and accountability.
Its mentorship model has been tried, tested and proven to be a preferred contractor development programme.
For more information, visit: www.natci.org.za.
The closing date for applications is December 22 at 2pm.
— This article is in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality
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