West Coast TVET College is proud to announce that the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubator (CFERI) is in full swing at Vredenburg Campus. The manager of the programme, Mr Xolani Mhlongu is very excited to share his experience with the entrepreneurs. The campus manager of Vredenburg Campus, Mr Themba Ndaba, says that CFERI is a breakthrough for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector.

The CFERI is making an impact in developing Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) through providing support to existing small business owners. This programme will help to grow and mould existing and new entrepreneurs. Various online classes has been taking place. The support to the entrepreneurs has resulted in the improvement in compliance through new business registration with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). In addition to this, the entrepreneurs are applying design thinking and lean start-up concepts. This will enable them to have a better understanding of their customers and develop viable business models to solve problems.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has conducted a 5-day business management workshop with the entrepreneurs. It culminated with them having to present their business plans, thus opening a chance for them to apply for grant funding to grow their businesses.

The CFERI has also introduced 3D printing to support and improve the product development of entrepreneurs. This was conducted through rapid prototyping, with the assistance of Mr Pat Ellis, which is a lecturer in the Engineering department. Mr Pat Ellis holds a B-Tech qualification. He engaged in a unique project where he designed a 3D printer from recycled material in 2019. Mr Ellis is also a Robotics and Programme Logic Controller (PLC) electronics expert with over 27 years of experience with the University of Johannesburg. The 3D printing technology will assist small businesses to produce specialised parts in smaller quantities.

The Centre will be conducting entrepreneurship workshops for students to create awareness and ignite the desire for them to be job creators rather than job seekers. This would particular be a great journey for young upcoming entrepreneurs to embark on, with COVID-19 in our midst. Through the support of the CFERI, entrepreneurs would be able to go back in the community, secure a job for themselves and perhaps at the same time create job opportunities.