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UP Business Incubator – Your path to entrepreneurial success
11 October 2018

If you have already signed up for the free online entrepreneurship course, congratulations!

You have taken the first step towards determining your success, potentially building a business empire and being your own boss. If you have not yet joined the course, simply click here to register on ClickUP right now.

As you go through the course and learn the skills to become a successful entrepreneur, you will be able to refine and develop any great business ideas you may have. In order to help you achieve your business goals, the University of Pretoria has made various tools and an expert skills pool available to help students completing the online course to develop their business ideas to fruition.

Once expert business analysts have assessed your bright idea, your business is almost ready to start running. This is always challenging as many new companies struggle to find the support they need to get off the ground. This means that new businesses might not have capital to start up, or might not have premises to operate from. However, for UP students who complete the entrepreneurship Professional Online Development (POD), this challenge is mitigated because UP provides an incubation service which helps students get on their feet. The UP Business Incubator (UPBI) was established to provide free support services to all our potential and new entrepreneurs on campus.

An incubator is a service that allows entrepreneurs to plan, start and eventually grow their ideas into high-impact business ventures (making lots of money and hopefully creating thousands of jobs). It does so by exposing the business to a relevant investor market or capital, or a highly connected network. At UP we have a wide range of highly successful alumni across a variety of fields. This network comes together to assist current students with their entrepreneurial dreams. This is in the form of angel investing, buying into the new business, providing another network of interested contacts, business-to-business trade, or providing advice and skills learnt from years of experience.

Incubators can also be specific to a particular industry or have a specific focus. For example, earlier this year Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey and the Minister of Small Business Development, together with the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Department of Trade and Industry launched the TuksNovation business incubator, a high-tech business incubator especially aimed at postgraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. This will offer specific business incubation needs to students in different phases of technology development. The aim is for TuksNovation to begin generating the development of industrial clusters that will positively impact the Tshwane region.

The incubator provides a space where you can meet your mentor, entrepreneurial peers and potential clients, have the professional appearance of an established business and get access to a network of success to leverage off. This process helps to cushion your business so that you do not have to invest significant capital at the beginning and assists with finding clients through word-of-mouth exposure to relevant business influencers. (http://www.up.ac.za/en/department-of-library-services/news/post_2542752-university-of-pretoria-business-incubator-upbi-applications-now-open)

The incubator phase of your entrepreneurial journey is the moment when your dream turns into a tangible business. The success of this business could have a lasting impact on you, your family and South Africa for generations.

Make today matter, enrol on http://www.enterprises.up.ac.za/training-solutions/ready4work/ and make your dreams a reality.

- Author Shakira Hoosain
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Last edited by Liesl OosthuizenEdit