The township of Ivory Park, located near Tembisa in the East Rand, became the home of the first Micro-Mall business incubator in Joburg, after the city officially unveiled it yesterday.
Startup incubators are, for the most part, populated with suburban or inner-city businesses, leaving many in townships out in the cold. The JoziMyBeginning Community Innovation Fund Micro-Mall, launched in partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ), is set to address this by bringing business support to the township and breaking down barriers of entry into the economy for community-based enterprises.
The Micro-Mall, a project that’s part of the City’s Jozi@Work programme, is a container facility that will see township businesses in the services, retail and manufacturing sectors incubated to develop into sustainable operations.
It also has a business training centre and common facilities such as internet and off-grid electricity for all startups.
A total of 61 Ivory Park residents are claimants of the land where the Micro-Mall is located and own it. The land was originally promised to them as a site for shops by the Midrand Metro before it was brought under the City of Joburg.
Each resident has has a share or equity in the Micro-Mall, which entitles them to a share of the profits earned by businesses hosted there, and they pay a maintenance levy. They can also opt to set up shop alongside entrepreneurs at the Micro-Mall.
“Up to 20 township businesses are expected to be incubated in the new Ivory Park Micro-Mall, and these will be supported by the City’s JoziMyBeginning Community Innovation Fund and the youth initiative, Vulindlel’eJozi programme.
All startups at the Micro Mall will receive support from corporates such as Telkom.
[Source and images – City of Joburg]