Following a pilot project in Soweto, one of South Africa’s oldest townships, Telkom FutureMakers calls on entrepreneurs in the ICT sector to sign up for its township innovation incubator.
The 18-month virtual entrepreneurship programme was piloted last year with the final cohort including 11 technology social entrepreneurs chosen from over 100 hopefuls.
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The Telkom FutureMakers enterprise and supplier development initiative seeks to invest and develop township-based, black-owned SMMEs in the ICT sector. With the current cohort graduating this July, the second intake of ICT entrepreneurs across South Africa are now being recruited.
“Congratulations to the first cohort who’ve completed our pilot, and who, through the programme, accessed funding to turn their business ideas into viable and commercially ready businesses,” commented Mmathebe Zvobwo, enterprise and supplier development executive at Telkom.
“ICT is globally recognised as one of the industries that can provide tangible opportunities for employment and, more importantly, youth employment. Following a successful pilot, to assist young entrepreneurs seize their future, we are thrilled to embark on a national roll-out in townships around the country.”
One of the success stories of Telkom’s FutureMakers township incubator is Technology Plumbing Solutions, a technological plumbing solutions company led by Thulani Khumalo from Soweto in Johannesburg. Telkom supported the start-up to develop a tech-enabled maintenance manhole cover that detects sewer blockage and overflow in real-time.
Telkom FutureMakers seeks to support township-based ICT social entrepreneurs by turning their innovative digital ideas into commercially viable, scalable, and investable solutions that can help address social issues in their communities and broader markets.
Telkom calls on majority of black-owned businesses, particularly youth-owned start-ups in the ICT sector, to apply and be part of the programme. Entrepreneurs should possess a high calibre entrepreneurial mindset, access to the internet, and the ability to communicate with internal and external stakeholders.
The successful incumbents will be given access to support in capacity building, technology development, business development, idea generation and validation support, market access, and funding. Telkom FutureMakers is committed to assisting entrepreneurs seize the future, to unlock and broad their potential and markets and turn dreams into reality.
Applications close on Thursday, 15 September 2022. The programme kicks off in Tuesday, 1 November 2022.