THE Vodacom Foundation has opened up applications for the second group of its business incubation hub Vodacom Innovation Park (VIP) which is meant to mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
VIP is a technology-based business incubator for young entrepreneurs.
It leverages the power of technology and mobile communications to make the entrepreneurs’ businesses more competitive and productive.
In a statement released this week, Vodacom Foundation and Communications Manager Mpho Brown said six local businesses would be incubated and become a part of the second cohort which begins in March.
“Basotho nationals of all ages are welcome to apply as long as they have an existing business idea or own a small business they would like to expand,” he said.
“Beyond this, there are no academic or experience prerequisites. There are no fees involved, since the programme is entirely sponsored by the Vodacom Foundation.
“All applications must be submitted via the Vodacom Innovation Park website www.theinnovationpark.co.ls on or before 21 February 2016.”
The entire programme takes a year, with the initial 12 weeks consisting of intensive training sessions of 20 hours per week. The rest of the programme entails one-on-one counselling sessions held on a monthly basis.
Mr Brown said the programme was meant to equip participants with skills to run sustainable businesses, with American business expert, Rhett Power, collaborating with the communication network giant in the training programme
“Beyond being afforded the amazing opportunity to be mentored by Rhett Power, businesses incubated in the Vodacom Innovation Park will be advised and trained on how best to overcome the challenges associated with being an entrepreneur,” he said.
“Each week, the businesses focus on a specific element of entrepreneurship; from managing money, understanding legalities of owning a business, refining their pitch to investors, product/market fit, business model, and marketing/customer acquisition models.
“The most significant aspect however, is ensuring that the goals of each business are understood, the challenges faced recognised and an action plan to ensure success is mapped.”