Innovation key to adequately preparing entrepreneurs

By Tashline Jooste, Chief Executive Officer of the Innovator Trust on 09 Oct 18

Innovation key to adequately preparing entrepreneurs

There are many challenges facing South African entrepreneurs from making a success of their business. From uncertain economic conditions to the ever-changing landscape of doing businesses in South Africa, it is essential for an entrepreneur to effectively adapt to the changing environment.

The Innovator Trust, a leading entrepreneurial incubator, understands the importance of properly preparing their beneficiaries to adapt to the unpredictable conditions and make a success of their businesses, regardless of external factors.

With this in mind, the Innovator Trust has revamped their final-year curriculum to ensure that the specific needs of their beneficiaries are met and providing all with relevant resources and opportunities.

“We have always taken great care to ensure we introduce innovation and technology to make sure our beneficiaries stay committed and make a success of this opportunity. In the first two years of the programme we have honed the business support, technical knowledge and business acumen.

The third and final year of the programme involves specially designed programmes which empowers businesses to continue to grow beyond the training”, explains Tashline Jooste, Chief Executive Officer of the Innovator Trust.

The programme entails shadow boards, increasing understanding and awareness of the telecommunication industry and readying the business to attract future opportunities.

“There is real hunger and determination from our beneficiaries to succeed. We have introduced innovation to ensure our beneficiaries stay motivated and complete the programme. It is easy to either lose interest or burn out during a programme and we have taken great care in ensuring this doesn’t happen,” says Jooste.

Apart from the technological and businesses know-how, it is essential for entrepreneurs to have the right coaching partnership to guide them through doing business in South Africa.

“Not only will having the right partnership help entrepreneurs to grow their business, but it will also help them adapt to any changes in the sector. Over the past two years, we have proved that we are that partner to our beneficiaries,” explains Jooste.

The Innovator Trust was established in 2014 through Vodacom to nurture and grow black-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in the information and communications technology sector into sustainable businesses, through training programmes, mentorships and networking opportunities. In doing so, The Innovator Trust has successfully incubated 66 SMEs in 2017.