In a remarkable display of commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth, the Innovator Trust recently celebrated the success of its Accelerator Program (ITAP). Ten small business entrepreneurs were delighted to receive a substantial R145,000 grant each, igniting a flame of potential that promises to fuel their businesses and positively impact the economy.
The Innovator Trust's Accelerator Program (ITAP) has emerged as a transformative force, nurturing innovation and economic growth among Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa. With a primary focus on propelling small businesses, the program has garnered significant attention and commendation. Through a rigorous selection process, ten promising SMMEs received a considerable R145,000 grant each, injecting newfound momentum into their ventures. The core value of the Accelerator lies in its holistic approach to nurturing these businesses, guiding them on a transformative journey of evolution and expansion.
The R145, 000 grant has acted as a catalyst, empowering these businesses to invest in their companies as they expand. The recipients opted for marketing, finance, and legal compliance training. For other recipients, the grant covered technological investments, office rental, accounting service fees, marketing rebrands, sales training and more, enabling them to take their services to a broader market and gain a competitive edge. Overall business growth is good, but as Innovator Trust CEO Tashline Jooste highlights, the ability to grow whilst incorporating digital and technological efficiencies, maintaining a human-centric culture and positive cash flow is what will unlock thriving businesses. As two of the beneficiaries tell us, the benefit of this programme has been imperative in elevating their businesses.
"It is surreal as a small business to have funds to support your business goals. I appreciate the sales training that has built an excellent pipeline for my business. My company now has a professional brand and templates. I was able to attend a conference in Portugal through the fund. We hold international compliance standards because of the funds and have access to accounting software. Compared to other funding initiatives, the Innovator Trust incubation and ITAP programmes have been incomparable." Piwe Sweleni - Loomee Group.
"The funds from ITAP have allowed us to take on additional staff to expand our business capacity, allowing them to grow as designers and app developers now operating in the AI space. We're a few weeks away from launching our very own first-of-its-kind, proudly African subscription-based design platform on an international standard created to service SMMEs. I'm so grateful because now we can continue investing in young graduates and freelancers, advance their potential or present them with job opportunities, and service the needs of SMMEs." Nadia Toffar - D Studio
"As an entrepreneur, mastering the delicate dance of scaling a small business without compromising company culture and cash flow is like orchestrating a symphony of success—a harmonious blend of growth, identity, and financial stability that resonates through time," says Jooste.
As SMMEs flourish and expand, they create new job opportunities, stimulating local economies and contributing to the development of communities.
Enabled by Vodacom, the Innovator Trust's vision transcends monetary assistance; it encompasses creating sustainable businesses with a social conscience. The Innovator Trust and Vodacom's strategic partnership has enabled various initiatives, including business accelerator programs, mentorship, and skills development, to foster sustainable growth and success for entrepreneurs. By nurturing SMMEs that prioritise inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability, ITAP actively contributes to advancing a socially responsible business ecosystem.
Innovation and entrepreneurship pave the way for economic prosperity. As the Innovator Trust identifies the next ten businesses that will undertake the transformative journey that ITAP offers, the future of South Africa's business landscape looks more promising with innovative access to funding programs that accelerate businesses' growth to become powerful agents of change and progress.
If you are interested in applying to the Innovator Trust programmes visit www.innovatortrust.co.za.