Diversified miner Anglo American South Africa has launched an incubator programme through its enterprise development arm, Zimele, aimed at turning 500 start-up businesses in rural communities into sustainable and successful companies.
The programme will assist mainly youth- and women-owned businesses in areas around Anglo’s operations in the North West, Limpopo and the Northern Cape.
It will be offered in three phases per location, with 25 entrepreneurs taking part in each phase, over a period of seven months. The programme will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with structured training, mentorship and tools that will help them refine their business models, identify and engage target markets and test their products and services to improve the viability of their businesses.
“The programme was designed to get entrepreneurs to take their business from zero revenue to commercially viable entities that can improve the broader economic wellbeing of communities around the company’s mining and processing operations in South Africa,” says Zimele head Larisha Naidoo.
Training companies such as TechnoServe and Summit, as well as banking company Absa, will also provide assistance to the start-ups.
Zimele and its partners have since 2018 helped more than 1 200 entrepreneurs grow their businesses, access credit and integrate into mining and other supply chains.
The participating businesses generally see their revenues grow by an average of 29% and are able to forge new market linkages and create jobs.