Local emerging businesses and aspiring business people from the Veeplaas community in the Eastern Cape have been granted an opportunity to boost the local township economy following the opening of a local Business Centre by the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip officially opened the Veeplaas Business Hive on Tuesday to assist local businesses from the Veeplaas community and the surrounding areas.
According to a statement, the opening comes after 20 years of waiting by the Veeplaas community and aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to make a difference in the township economy.
The business hive is the first of its kind in the township and joins the main branch, situated in Kwantu Towers, on Vuyisile Mini Square.
According to the municipality, the main objective is to create ease of access and convenience for township entrepreneurs who often struggle to travel back and forth to the CBD for the services provided by the incubator, due to financial constraints.
Some of the primary services provided by the centre, include business advice to start up, business plans, access to internet services to entrepreneurs registered with the incubator, workshops and various kinds of business training, and networking and information sessions.
Whilst the centre does not provide financial funding to businesses directly, they provide finance facilitation, ensuring that businesses are compliant, making it easier for them to get funding.
Addressing the community of Veeplaas, media and a number of local emerging business owners, Trollip encouraged the community of Veeplaas to be bold and be prepared to work hard for the success of their businesses.
“If you work hard and commit yourself to grow your business, the municipality will give you full support. We are doing this because we understand that a successful local business will not only benefit the owner, it will also assist in creating much-needed jobs and be an inspiration to others,” he said.
The centres are run under the guidance of the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture directorate.
Ward Councillor Mbulelo Gidane said “whilst this might be an ordinary event to everybody else, it is a big day for the Veeplaas community”.
“This incubator will change lives.”