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INTERVIEW

Technology Incubation Centres are spurring growth Koenie Slabbert details how the Small Enterprise Development Agency in Limpopo is helping small businesses. What is the key business proposition of Seda Limpopo?

Koenie Slabbert

BIOGRAPHY Koenie Slabbert began his career as an apprentice in tool, jig and die-making. Promotion to Supervisor inspired him to sign up for training at his own expense. Courses at the Production Management Institute of South Africa led to a Higher Diploma in Production Management and a BSc Honours through the PMI/ University of Hertfordshire. A Master’s Degree in Operations Management followed. Before joining Seda, Koenie was an industrial engineer at Limac. He has been Provincial Manager from June 2007. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2019/20

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) which provides non-financial support to small enterprises and co-operatives. Seda has by far the biggest network of offices in the country. Limpopo has five branches, one in each municipal districts and three co-location points. Seda has presence in some townships and rural areas and has programmes targeting youth and women from all sectors. Seda Limpopo supports three Technology Incubation Centres affording start-ups a well-equipped and protected environment in which to develop and grow for a period of three years. Incubation has been proven to reduce the failure rate in the first few years of small enterprises’ cycle. Seda interventions involve exploring possible new revenue streams, improving competitiveness and productivity in the business. Are there particular economic sectors in which you specialise? Seda assists all types of business and cuts across a number of sectors that are key to job creation. These include: agriculture and agroprocessing, manufacturing, engineering, renewable energy and services (ICT and tourism). Seda has also prioritised small enterprises and co-operatives owned by youth, women, people with disabilities and people in townships and rural areas. What are the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in Limpopo? One of the challenges is access to markets; another is access to funding. There are great opportunities in exporting of primary produce and value-adding through agro-processing initiatives. Manufacturing and technology and ICT initiatives are other areas of potential. Do the branches deal with different kinds of business support depending on where they are located? It is very important for Seda to ensure that its branches provide a series of packaged products and services to assist businesses in various phases of operation. The dynamics of the economic imperatives will differ from

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Profile for Global Africa Network

Limpopo Business 2019/20 edition  

The 2019/20 edition of Limpopo Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has establis...

Limpopo Business 2019/20 edition  

The 2019/20 edition of Limpopo Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has establis...