For sustainable urban development in South Africa the support for the growth of small scale manufacturing enterprises is very important across the urban developing world, key barriers to development of these emerging manufacturing enterprises relate to access to finance, entrepreneurial behaviour, markets and training. The South African manufacturing sector over the years has grown in leaps and bounds and your average emerging small manufacturer finds it difficult to enter the sector due to the lack of machineries, raw materials and access to market. Incubators play a pivotal role in the success of emerging small businesses.
The South African government through the Small Enterprise Development Agency- STP initiated incubators around the country to support SMMEs with business support services such as coaching and mentoring. The South African Manufacturing Demonstration Centre which is also known as SMTDC is one of the incubators which was established on the 1st of April 2008, the operations of the centre commenced on January 2009, it was officially launched in 2010 by The Minister of Trade and Industry – Mr. Rob Davies. The centre was initialized as a pilot facility and proved itself to be a success in the South African incubation landscape. The model was designed to provide entrepreneurs with technical and business training services before any start-up activities are pursued. After training, business incubation and support services are provided. The first pilot project was initiated at Soshanguve – North
of Pretoria and the organisation have just expanded to Atlantis in the Western Cape. The centre’s operations are supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Small Enterprise Development Agency, the City of Tshwane, Tshwane University of Technology and the Eskom Development Foundation respectively.
The centre has been in operation for the last 8 years and received numerous accolades for playing a pivotal role in the development and support of emerging small scale manufacturers. The awards received by the centre includes: 2014 International Arch of Europe (IAE) in Germany for commitment to quality and excellence in the Platinum category, The International Star for Leadership in Quality at the Business Initiative Directives in Paris and runner –up for Centre of the Year Department of Trade and Industry Awards. The centre has successfully incubated/assisted 984 emerging small scale manufacturers.
The manufacturing technologies of SMTDC focuses on the following categories: packaging, fabrication, product design, 3D printing, toilet paper, roof sheets, corporate branding and plastics products. The services and products offered by the centre includes business and technical training services, coaching, mentoring, access to machineries, raw material, suppliers and markets.
The centre thus far has successfully assisted 170 SMMEs and one of our success stories includes Mchunu Distribution Services a company owned by Dr. Alfred Mchunu, the company is manufacturing cleaning chemical detergents and initially when they came to the centre for assistance they lacked collateral, professional business skills, recognition by suppliers, premises, Through the interventions from SMTDC the company managed to secure funding of R600 000.00 from SEDA’s Technology Transfer Fund to acquire chemical processing equipment and they gained a lot via our business mentoring and coaching services.
The centre has over the years strived to improve and promote economic growth by providing quality services, assisting government in alleviating poverty through the development and training of emerging small scale manufacturers in the Tshwane area and now looking ahead/forward to achieve more success at our new branch situated at Atlantis, Cape Town.Share this article on Social Networks