Partners in growth

Several skill-building projects are coming together with development initiatives to support the drive for inclusive economic growth in the iLembe district.  

The Business Incubator established by Enterprise iLembe is playing a major role in supporting the objectives of the Vuthela iLembe LED Support Programme by developing skills and advancing inclusive growth in the iLembe district.

Enterprise iLembe is an economic development agency owned by the iLembe District Municipality. It attracts investment and facilitates economic development in the iLembe district. 

Enterprise iLembe aims to enable businesses in the district to compete successfully on the international stage, to participate in the national economy and to promote local economic development. It aims to create sustainable jobs and improve the quality of life of communities, especially the poor and marginalised. 

CEO of Enterprise iLembe Linda Mncube says several projects have been implemented to support skills development and economic progress in the district.

Enterprise iLembe has established a Business Incubator as a strategic instrument to overcome the challenges confronting small businesses, like access to finance, regulatory compliance and addressing market needs. 

The Business Incubator provides secure working space with computers, communication facilities and meeting rooms. Business support services include management training and mentoring, accounting services and assistance with statutory, taxation and compliance requirements.

The recently launched iLembe One Stop Shop provides several commercial services, including company registration, at no cost to businesses. This initiative is expected to significantly improve the ease of starting a business in the district and responds directly to the “Doing Business” survey undertaken by the World Bank Group as part of the Vuthela Programme in the early phases of the programme which pointed to the time-consuming challenges of setting up a new business in the iLembe district.

Enterprise iLembe, in partnership with the iLembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Toursim, also initiated an Entrepreneur Competition to stimulate and support small business ownership.

An Install-Repair-Maintain (IRM) Hub has been established at the Mandeni campus of Umfolozi TVET College in partnership with the National Business Initiative (NBI), Mandeni Municipality, iLembe Chamber and local manufacturing businesses.

IRM roles account for around two million jobs (12% of all employment) in the South African economy and 736 000 of these jobs are occupied by young people. The IRM initiative recognises that youth unemployment cannot be solved through labour absorption in the formal sector alone and it is essential to develop township enterprises that grow economic activity and self-employment opportunities. 

Mncube said that the skills and business development projects underway are designed to support and develop small businesses and contribute to overall economic growth in the district.

“They serve as a practical demonstration of successful partnerships between organised business, local government and the development agency in this district,” says Mncube.

“We look forward to extending the collaboration with all stakeholders who share our aim to develop and grow the local economy for the benefit of communities in the future.”

PIC: KZN MEC Siboniso Duma, Economic Development, Tourism and Environment Affairs at the iLembe One Stop Shop launch