Start-Up Soweto is a Facilitated Entrepreneurship intervention designed to make it easy and desirable to start a business and hard for entrepreneurs to fail by providing them with rudimentary resources, governance support, human capital development, financial and social capital. The Start-Up Soweto project is a pilot in a roll-out programme comprising 20 of the largest townships in South Africa. Our goal during this pilot phase is to support a 200 entrepreneurs and create 1 000 direct jobs.
At the Start-Up Soweto office you’ll find Free Wi-Fi, a Computer, a Hot Desk, Print/Fax/Copy/Scan Facilities at minimal cost, a Mentorship programme, a Training programme, up to R1 million in equity investment and a Business Manager who will facilitate your access to our Social Capital and the Entrepreneurship Eco-system.
We have searched far and wide, deep and relentlessly for the answers to the questions; are entrepreneurs born or made? Is entrepreneurship the solution for the unemployment crisis? How do we improve gestation and thus TEA? What support is needed to secure the survivability of the start-up?
Suffice to say, after many years of running our own businesses, mentoring and supporting several thousand entrepreneurs, studying academically and in practice both the causes and effects of unemployment, we believe we may have now found a sound starting point towards the answers and solutions.
We have three basic premises or hypothesis that we depart from.
The first; the high failure rate of start-ups is a reflection of the inadequacy of the human capital that is invested in the businesses. Human capital in this context refers to the sum of the innate capabilities possessed by the entrepreneur at the point of starting the business. These may comprise their level of education, technical expertise, work experience and acquired business management skills.
The second; Social Capital is the determining factor in both the speed and success of gestation. Succinctly, the more Social Capital an entrepreneur has the higher their probability of success. Social Capital refers to the access that one has to mentors, networks of decision makers and potential customers.
The third; We can make it easy and desirable to start a business while simultaneously making it hard to fail by closing the capabilities and social capital gap through a well-structured process of facilitated entrepreneurship (something akin to incubation and mentorship in combination).
125 Makhaya Str, Protea North, Soweto, 1818
t: +27 11 836 0536