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V&A Makers Landing Incubator Programme

  • LIFESTYLE
  • 4 min read

The V&A Waterfront is searching for eight local food entrepreneurs to participate in the Makers Landing Kitchen Incubator Programme, which aims to nurture and empower food entrepreneurs by providing them with access to business development support and specialised kitchen equipment to enable sustainable business growth and resilience.

During the incubation programme, food entrepreneurs gain access to business development training, mentorship and technical support, market and finance opportunities, events, product development and specialised kitchen equipment. This approach is designed to develop their product offering and entrepreneurship skills while providing a practical learning experience.

The incubation programme is broken down into three phases:

The pre-incubation phase (three months) is dedicated to identifying gaps in the business, key focus areas and building a strategy for future growth. This includes selection, contracting, baseline assessments and development maps.

The incubation phase (five months) provides a comprehensive business development programme to prepare the entrepreneur for running a successful food business and scaling its operation which includes but is not limited to regular health checks to assess implementation, scale of operations (funding readiness, market support and funding opportunities), brand development, media and public relations, market readiness and bespoke programme technical support.

The growth phase (four months) focuses on marketing exposure, unlocking growth opportunities, building a sustainable brand and business.

“Our goal with the Kitchen Incubator Programme has always been to provide support and guidance to foodprenuers looking to scale their businesses successfully. Over the three years, we’ve noted individual business growth within each graduating cohort.  It’s been incredible to watch these culinary experts not only apply the insights learnt from the curriculum but also leverage on the knowledge shared by other industry leaders who have mentored them throughout the journey.” says Henry Mathys, Senior Management Social Impact & Food Ecosystem Head.

To ensure that the eight business owners receive comprehensive knowledge and support, the V&A Waterfront has partnered with two industry leaders: Property Point, an enterprise development initiative committed to unlocking opportunities for SMEs, and Wakanda Food Accelerator, an entrepreneurial hub for food tech innovators seeking to transform their skills into flourishing food businesses. These strategic collaborations play a key role in the curriculum, providing essential resources for the cohorts to achieve lasting success.

Property Point Founder Shawn Theunissen says they are confident their three-year development programme will unlock the potential of the SMEs on the Makers Landing programme.

“We want to equip entrepreneurs with the essential skills, training, and personal development they need to transform their ventures into fully independent and flourishing companies. As we now extend our support to the Makers Landing Kitchen Incubator Programme, we are applying the same principles of empowerment and growth that have guided us for over a decade.”

“One of the biggest hurdles that entrepreneurs have to overcome is market access and the Makers Landing Kitchen Incubator Programme serves as invaluable platform for food and beverage businesses to successfully navigate one of the most competitive industries, “said Miles Khubeka, Founder: Wakanda Food Accelerator.

“The V&A Waterfront is proud to have created a space which uplifts and celebrates local young food entrepreneurs by breaking down the barriers to entry within the local food industry; a space that builds a community around food as a passion point and cultural connector, and where authentic South African food and its diversity is shared and celebrated,” said Alex Kabalin, V&A Waterfront, Retail Executive.

Makers Landing opened in December 2020 with the aim of building and evolving Western Cape’s food ecosystem in a meaningful way. It is a purpose-driven space that supports job creation and skills development. Since its inception, the space has upskilled more than 28 small businesses, including Emazulwini, Honeycomb Eatery, Slow + Low, Wrapper Co and Kasi Cuisine, to name a few.

Applications close: 29 January 2024