Last night president Cyril Ramaphosa presented his second State of the Nation Address.

Looking back at previous years we’re glad that the speech started on time with little to no disruptions. It also gave us time to focus on the content of the speech.

Among the talk of economic stimulation and facing corruption head-on, Ramaphosa talked up small business. Specifically the president spoke about how government will expand its small business incubation programme.

“The incubation programme provides budding entrepreneurs with physical space, infrastructure and shared services, access to specialised knowledge, market linkages, training in the use of new technologies and access to finance,” Ramaphosa explained to the National Assembly.

At present there are 51 technology business incubators, 10 enterprise supplier development incubators and 14 rapid youth incubators.

While those numbers aren’t great, they aren’t especially bad either and Ramaphosa has said that he and his government plan to expand the programme.

“As part of the expansion of this programme, township digital hubs will be established, initially in four provinces, with more to follow,” the president said.

“We expect these hubs to provide most needed entrepreneurial service to small and medium enterprises in the rural areas and townships but more especially to young people who want to start their businesses.”

The president added that the expansion of the small business incubation programme will be a focus in 2019.

Of course we’ll have to see how the government rolls out this expansion but we’re inclined to believe that it will happen.

Last year during his SONA, Ramaphosa announced the Youth Employment Service which was established less than a month later.

Our hope is that this small business incubation expansion is taken up with the same fervour as the youth initiative so we’ll be keeping a close eye on it throughout the year.

You can find the full State of the Nation Address 2019 over at this link.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]