SME ecosystem builds bottom lines

SME ecosystem builds bottom lines

It goes without saying that NPC Riversands Incubation Hub seeks the best value for each Rand of procurement so it is pleasing to note that in the 10 months since the beginning of 2019, it has spent almost a million rand with on-campus SMEs. From inception in 2015 to date, the total rises to more than R7-million.

Because of the diverse nature of the businesses, goods procured vary from water bottles for conferencing to furniture and electrical services for facilities as well as numerous printed items for marketing. In other words, Riversands Incubation Hub walks its talk about being the go-to platform for small businesses to accelerate their growth!

While Riversands Incubation Hub tracks SME spend, there is no formal tracking of the internal economy between businesses, but the Service Co-ordinators are in regular touch with entrepreneurs and cited some exciting new developments.

When Timeless Opulence discovered an additional income stream in the form of providing hired furniture for events, entrepreneur Cindy Malaza approached another Riversands Incubation Hub business – Dotty Moments – to partner with her. The resulting arrangement has been extremely profitable for both parties since their offerings complement each other.

For Timeless Opulence, the event business has provided regular everyday income while her furniture manufacturing has picked up thanks to the exposure generated during the events. And it’s been equally beneficial for Dotty Moments, since the events company regularly provides décor for functions such as corporate launches and weddings where furniture adds to the atmosphere.

Belinda Khumalo from Dotty Moments also raves about the magnificent cakes produced by Baked by Opy which have boosted her business because clients are so happy with them.

Azania Events & Media offers branding, printing and signage within the ecosystem – the name is synonymous with excellent service delivered as well as friendly advice. Entrepreneur Alvin Truter says that he numbers practically all the entrepreneurs on the campus amongst his clients and has produced window branding, flyers, leaflets, t-shirts, flags and sign boards for the various businesses. Being a small business owner himself, he knows about the challenges that his colleagues on the campus face and will sometimes recommend a different supplier to them.

Other businesses which frequently benefit from the presence of the more than 1700 people working in more than 160 businesses on the campus are professional services companies Otonda Consulting and Brendmo Incorporated; the two agri-preneurs who produce organic vegetables and the ladies on the textile programme who produce custom-made, environmentally friendly bags.