City gears for new regional SME Hubs

Job seekers and innovation desks will soon be launched within each of the City of Johannesburg’s regional SMME hubs.

The Department of Economic Development will oversee the hubs that aim to grow and develop the labour market within the City as well as link job seekers to opportunities both within the public and private sector.

IMMC for Economic Development, Leah Knott, said the launch is in line with the administration’s commitment to achieving five per cent economic growth by 2021 and reducing unemployment.

This decision also follows the City’s first-ever Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Symposium.

The gathering was a discussion on ways the City can improve the current entrepreneurial ecosystems within Johannesburg, in order to stimulate the local economy and create jobs.

Knott said the entrepreneurship ecosystem symposium brought together government, the private sector, educational institutions, non-government organisations and entrepreneurs for this purpose.

The City thereafter received submissions to the challenges that face entrepreneurs and SMMEs operating in Johannesburg.

“These submissions are being used to inform our ongoing discussions on the type of support needed by the City’s business community,” Knott said.

“As per the Department of Economic Development’s 17/18 financial year deliverables, we have committed to increased regional economic development and support towards entrepreneurial development. In order to succeed, such an approach can only work through stronger alignment between the department and regional offices as well as collaboration between the City, private sector and small business.”

The city’s job seekers and innovation desks plan to be entrepreneurial spaces and meeting points for like-minded individuals to engage, collaborate and find solutions to job creation and economic growth.

“The City has also approached two institutions of higher learning in order to give their learners the opportunity to conceptualise an appropriate name and logo for these desks. The learners providing the successful name and logo, will be recognised for their flow of creativity and will for innovation.

This approach will also provide a platform for emerging graphic designers and young professionals and an opportunity to create a unique portfolio.”

The new business model will increase hubs to two per region up from one and the City will have 14 hubs by 2021, the MMC said.

 

Also read:

First-of-a-kind symposium to help Joburg business

Create jobs, become an entrepreneur

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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