Industry News

Industry-Led Incubator to Foster Innovation and Support Entrepreneurs

FEDHASA, the voice of hospitality in South Africa, launches its non-profit business incubator programme today at the Africa Travel Indaba.

The programme, modelled on several successful initiatives underway within the tourism sector, will specifically cater to the value chain of the South African hospitality sector, seeking to drive sustainable economic growth and job creation amidst the nation’s high unemployment rate.

Further aimed at fostering innovation, supporting entrepreneurs and bolstering the hospitality sector’s B-BBEE transformation agenda, the FEDHASA business incubator is timely as the industry emerges from the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic.

By offering Enterprise and Supplier Development services to FEDHASA members, the programme will also strengthen the sector’s collective transformation efforts in a streamlined, ISO 9001:2015-accredited manner and be fully tax-deductible for members.

“We believe that the hospitality industry has immense potential to contribute to South Africa’s economic growth and job creation, particularly in light of the current unemployment crisis,” says Rosemary Anderson, National Chair of FEDHASA. “Our incubator programme will help empower entrepreneurs and support businesses throughout the value chain, thereby fostering the growth and resilience of the South African hospitality sector.”

The innovative incubator model, driven by enterprise development and impact specialists Sigma International and Natalia Rosa, CEO of Big Ambitions, in partnership with FEDHASA, will allow members to redirect a preferred percentage of their Enterprise Development (ED) or Supplier Development (SD) investment spend, enabling a higher impact on the industry and broadening transformation buy-in and reach.

FEDHASA members would sponsor a set number of beneficiaries per financial year and provide tailored, needs-based programmes for each beneficiary and their businesses. This initiative will support the development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) that are at least 51% black-owned, thus advancing transformation in the hospitality sector.

Anderson confirms that the incubator will be industry-led, allowing member staff to participate in the beneficiary selection process and transformation journey guided by their employers (should they choose). FEDHASA will also be able to nominate beneficiaries on a business’ behalf, considering the intentions of their transformation spend.

FEDHASA is partnering with Sigma International, an award-winning, level 1 B-BBEE company with a proven track record in establishing successful business incubators across various sectors, including tourism, mining, forestry and paper. All of the Sigma International incubators are ISO 9001:2015 accredited.

“Our collaboration with FEDHASA will build on the success of our existing business incubators, which have already impacted in excess of 300 beneficiaries across the entire tourism value chain nationwide,” says Akash Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Sigma International. “We are excited to expand our reach within the hospitality sector and look forward to seeing these make a difference within the sector in the years to come. What makes the timing of Fedhasa incubator special and impactful, is that we able to extend linkages to beneficiaries and funders, across the 5 other tourism incubators we currently have in operations”?

Hospitality providers and FEDHASA members who are interested in participating should contact Akash Singh +27 83 638 0339 akash@sigmaintl.co.za or Lee-Anne Singer +27 83 680 5759 lee-anne@singergroup.co.za on for details.

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