- Over 60 local entrepreneurs incubated at the VW Business Support Centre since opening in 2011
Since its opening in 2011, the Volkswagen Business Support Centre in Uitenhage has trained and upskilled over 60 local entrepreuners.
The centre in based in Uitenhage and is managed by a business incubator, Raizcorp.
The success of the centre has allowed it to extend its services to existing entreprenuers by assisting them with guidance and business funding applications.
"The training and support that new entrepreneurs receive at the VW Business Centre is a comprehensive support system where every aspect of their business growth is developed. Small enterprise development is one of our of five Corporate Social Investment focus areas," said Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director, Volkswagen Group South Africa.
With many success stories in the centre's 11 year history, the recent one that stands out is that of Samkelo Qokolwane (29, originally from Johannesburg) from Hashtag Aluminium.
Samkelo's business began in a friend's garage in 2014. He joined the VW Business Centre in 2016 and Hashtag Aluminium is now the first youth owned aluminium construction company in the Eastern Cape that are certified to issue Glazing certificates.
"I am constantly inspired and motivated - not just by the Raizcorp guidance but also by my fellow entrepreneurs. You know you're not alone; there's always someone to talk to at the centre," said Samkelo.
The programme exposed Samkhelo to potential business opportunities , budgeting advice, industry specific information, presentation skills, to name a few.
His advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs: "Never give up! You don't need capital to start your own business; you need guts!"
"We need more of these centres in the Eastern Cape so that we can develop more entrpreneurs like Samkelo. The talent is out there but we need to use our knowledge as Corporates and impart it into these centres to help more entrepreneurs," concluded Schaefer.