A successful partnership between government and the private sector is founded on the belief that one plus one equals much more than two can bear results. Entrepreneurial and business incubation programmes are some of the most fruitful when it comes to such partnerships.
Offering subsidised and affordable spaces to entrepreneurs can transform unemployed individuals into productive, contributing members of society. Promoting such opportunities through public–private partnerships is an effective method of creating a thriving economy.
In line with this, National Treasury launched the Jobs Fund in June 2011 to address the challenge of unemployment in South Africa. Since then, the initiative has funded 126 projects, with R6.7-billion in grant funds allocated and R9.5-billion committed by private sector and NGO partners. So far, 225 981 sustainable jobs have been created. This has been accomplished, in part, by unlocking potential economic activity in areas where there are few local jobs.
While government can create the policies that encourage greater investment and create the platforms for other organisations to build upon, it is unrealistic to expect government to solve all of the social challenges we face. By implementing programmes that offer mentorship and support services to SMMEs, public–private partnerships can boost entrepreneurship and encourage small-business ownership.
This is an excerpt from an article by Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub, that will appear in the upcoming edition of Vision 2030. For more articles like this, get your copy of the publication, out in November.