Food entrepreneurs called to join the Western Cape’s first kitchen incubator

Food entrepreneurs called to join the Western Cape’s first kitchen incubator

The V&A Waterfront has taken the next step in making the Western Cape’s first inclusive kitchen incubator a reality by calling for applications.

An ‘inclusive and innovative space’

The kitchen incubator is one part of Makers Landing, a purpose-driven space that will open at the V&A Waterfront later this year at the Cape Town Cruise terminal. The space will be built around a community with food as a passion point and cultural connector, where authentic South African food and its diversity is shared and celebrated

Along with the kitchen incubator programme, the space will also include a kitchen studio and event space, that showcases a makers’ space, market stalls and eateries, which will give valuable insight into end-to-end food production while providing a variety of delicious and authentically local meals and products.

Photo: Supplied

The Makers Landing Food Lab incubation programme, in partnership with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, is now accepting applications from candidates. Applicants should have an existing food business that is actively selling or operating, and that has been in operation for less than three years.

The programme will offer opportunities to qualified business start-ups and existing small food businesses that can show that they will benefit significantly from affordable access to a licensed commercial kitchen space, and technical assistance and training from experts in food industry techniques and general business operations.

“We have developed a value-driven approach,” explained Westleigh Wilkinson, Makers Landing Project Lead, “Our plan is to immerse our entrepreneurs in an inclusive and innovative space, where they will be nurtured by food industry mentors who are influential and successful in their own right. By matching natural creativity and passion for food with knowledge and new skills gained, our entrepreneurs will be better prepared for success in what is a tough and competitive industry.”

The incubator programme

The incubator programme, which will be run as modules of six months at a time, and will consist of two, sessions a week. Sessions will comprise of a combination of online modules, in-class learning and individual assignments. Here, incubatees will learn the fundamentals of building a business and gain insight into the local food industry.

The programme’s content has been developed by Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts with real-life experience. Candidates will receive technical expert support, as well as bi-weekly mentor meetings. The curriculum will include modules covering a variety of topics such as food safety, product development, marketing, sales, operations and finance.

“One aspect that sets this programme apart from any existing programme is that it will also offer entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen, allowing them to take a product or an idea and produce it to scale. There will also be a food market, so they will also be able to test these products or food ideas out with a real audience,” added David Green, CEO at the V&A Waterfront.

To find out more, visit the Makers Landing website.

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