The University of Mpumalanga’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (UMPCFERI) will assist entrepreneurs with skills to develop their businesses and ultimately curb youth unemployment.
With the goal to reduce the youth unemployment rate in the province, the University of Mpumalanga (UMP) launched the first-ever Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (UMPCFERI ) to identify and nurture entrepreneurial talent and creativity.
This state-of-the-art centre also assists UMP students, alumni and small, micro and medium enterprises to identify and develop sustainable business opportunities that will bring about change in communities. The launch took place at the new centre adjacent to the university, on Thursday April 13.
The UMP vice chancellor and the UMPCFERI advisory board’s chairperson, Prof Thoko Mayekiso, said the centre is designed as a hub for collaborative networking.
“The entrepreneurs would have access to relevant information, support, training and linkages with strategic partners such as the Small Enterprise Development Agency. The goal is to reduce the prevalent unemployment levels in the province through the entrepreneurial and business skills development offered at the centre.”
The centre’s manager, Prof Kanayo Ogujiuba, said the incubation process begins with a pre-incubation period of six months, and afterwards, certain stages will follow over a period of two to three years.
“This technology centre will also provide services to the public and private sector. We engage with private businesses to increase capacity and accessible mentorship,” Ogujiuba said.
The UMPCFERI was established in 2020 and has formed partnerships with the Consortium of Universities in Asia. A great number of students have benefited from the centre, such as Penwell Silinda, Siphesihle Shabalala, Ntabiseng Mpanza and Precious Mamogobo.
A wonderful project in the pipeline from the centre is the collaboration with the UMP students who won the best pitch award at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Malaysia. They will develop an app and establish a sustainable model for women entrepreneurs.