Enterprise development is one of the key drivers of economic development in South Africa. In 2011, a requirement for a business hub initiative was identified by Petra in its host community at Finsch. Construction of the Hub, which was part of Finsch’s SLP, was carried out in partnership with the local municipality and was completed in 2013.
The Hub officially opened on 29 January 2015, with local stakeholders in attendance, and is now operated by a manager and their assistant. Pre-incubation and incubation workshops are held at the Hub and mentoring is offered to businesses after the approval of their funding applications. The Hub also offers free computer and internet access, business advice and training, assistance with business plan compilation, and support with regards to marketing materials, company registrations and BEE certificates.
The main role of the Hub is to assist and support local entrepreneurs in developing the necessary skills to grow their businesses. In partnership with Anglo American Zimele, Petro also provides them with financial assistance.
The success of the Hub will be carefully monitored, taking feedback from users and service providers into account. The primary performance measures will be the number of approved funding applications and the increase in turnover of the businesses that are assisted. The Hub is a medium to long-term initiative to help address challenges associated with unemployment and poverty.
Commenting on the initiative, Finsch’s General Manager, Luctor Roode, said: “The principal aim of the Hub is to enable local entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses, which will contribute positively to the municipal, provincial and national economy, creating jobs and encouraging development.”