Thursday, October 22, 2020

Call for food entrepreneurs to join industry incubator


The Covid-19 lockdown has disrupted the order of business for many SMME’s across the country, to assist drowning businesses, the V&A Waterfront will soon be opening a new, purpose-driven industrial space called Makers Landing at the Cape Town Cruise terminal in 2020 and will also be launching the Western Cape’s first kitchen incubator programme.

“Our plan is to immerse our entrepreneurs in an inclusive and innovative space, where they will be nurtured by food industry mentors who are influential and successful in their own right,” said Makers Landing project leader Westleigh Wilkinson.

In partnership with National Treasury’s Job Fund, incubation programme will be promoting job creation, small business development and facilitating skills sharing. The programme will provide access to a commercial kitchen, technical assistance and training from food industry experts.

It will run as modules of six months at a time and consist of two sessions a week. Sessions will include online modules, in-class learning and assignments. Candidates will receive expert technical support, along with bi-weekly mentor meetings, and the curriculum will cover everything from food safety, product development, marketing and sales, to operations and finance. Content has been developed by Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts.


Applicants must have an existing food business that has been in operation for at least six months, but no more than three years.

The kitchen incubator programme will be the cornerstone of Makers Landing, with space also to include a kitchen studio and event space showcasing South Africa’s food heritage. There will also be a Makers’ Space with stalls and eateries, giving insight into food production while providing authentically local meals and produce.

“One aspect that sets this programme apart from any existing programme is that it will also offer entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen, allowing them to take a product or an idea and produce it to scale,” said V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.

He noted that the main idea of this initiative is for food businesses to get started in a supportive environment, and to eventually with the knowledge gained, move to larger operations, and possibly even their own brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Some costs will be applicable to new applicants joining the programme, though these fees have been largely discounted by the Jobs Fund and the V&A Waterfront. Fees include monthly sum access the training, network and facilities provided, as well as costs to cover regulatory items such as health and safety certification.

Applications for the first group of candidates close on October 23. To apply for or become involved in the incubation programme, visit:

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