Droogfontein Solar Power has entered into a support agreement with the Galeshwe SMME incubator for two years, valued at R1.2 million, for the period 2014 to 2016. The support package provides operational costs for this business incubator, in addition to a small business grant support programme. “Our contribution to the business village is part of Droogfontein Solar Power’s local Enterprise Development Programme in the Kimberley area, aimed at helping to stimulate the local economy and support small business activities in the Northern Cape area,” explained Mpho Makhetha Plant Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power.
Four local SMME’s have benefited directly from the Droogfontein Solar Power pilot funding grant programme, namely JD Gaming and IT; Harvitex; Vermoni Recycling and Trading; Move-On-Up. These SMME’s were evaluated according to a range of criteria to ensure sustainability; one of these criteria was to ensure that the impact of the grant could be measured in terms of future turnover, operating efficiency or marketing impact.
Makhetha continued, adding, “As an Independent Power Producer, arising from the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, we are committed to contributing to local economic development in the immediate geographic area to assist Qualifying Small Enterprises to grow into larger businesses in a sustainable manner.
The SMME Village is an initiative of Sol Plaatje Municipality and is the largest small business incubator in the Northern Cape, with a range of dynamic small businesses operating from the centre in the heart of Galeshewe. Business owners are able to utilize the subsidized office space for a period of up to three years, while developing their business and management skills, and benefitting from training and mentorship. “The primary aim is to assist business owners to grow sustainable small businesses by ensuring that they have access to opportunities and develop the necessary foundations,” said Makhetha.
A group of Galeshewe Village entrepreneurs recently completed a special SMME Village-sponsored training in Solar Energy / Photo Voltaic business skills. This accredited training included, amongst many other aspects, the fundamentals of Solar PV, universal best practice for PV system installation from a Project Management perspective, Tariff legislation, Solar PV system design, sizing and costing and well as basic energy calculations and even how to conduct a world class carbon footprint in accordance with International Standards and global best practice.
The SMME Village is an initiative of Sol Plaatje Municipality. Business support, grant and training funding is provided by Droogfontein Solar Power.