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CoCREATE Hub to open in midyear

Work is well underway at the old clinic building in Victoria Street in Stellenbosch where a group of local contractors and their teams are working to transform the disused, historical building into a development hub that will promote economic inclusion within the town.

Local NPO, Ranyaka Community Transformation, was awarded a ten-year lease for the building by the Stellenbosch Municipality in 2019. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a national lockdown, basic maintenance work commenced on site in July 2020, with construction starting in February 2021 following approval of the building plans by Western Cape Heritage and the local Municipality. In line with Ranyaka’s commitment to promoting local economic inclusion, preference is given to local B-BBEE micro or small contractors who reside and/or operate their businesses within the municipal boundaries of Stellenbosch.

Work completed to date includes, among others, the plumbing (first fix), repairs to the roof, electrical work (first fix), demolition and new brickwork. Teams are currently working on the plaster finishing, preparation for painting, floor repairs and timber windows.

Unlocking opportunity – discovering local gems

The CoCREATE Hub is expected to open its doors in mid-2021 and will provide a multifunctional facility where local community entrepreneurs can access affordable working, trading and retail spaces. In a town where centrally-located business premises come at a premium, the Hub will unlock previously untapped markets for between 30 and 50 micro business owners.

Applications are open for vendors who are interested in trading their quality, locally-produced goods and services in the heart of Stellenbosch. (See below for further details regarding the application process.)

The Hub will also offer Stellenbosch residents and visitors the opportunity to “buy local” and discover the oft hidden gems in the form of products and services by small business owners residing in, or working from communities surrounding central Stellenbosch. In addition, NGOs with a job creation or enterprise development mandate will have access to a facility where they can provide training and mentorship services. Ranyaka’s Building Business programme will also support business owners through practical business support, training, the allocation of mentors and assistance with business compliance and local supply-chain registration.

Bringing the vision to life

Fundraising for the future Hub is ongoing, with funders on board to date including the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Nedbank Enterprise Development, the Stellenbosch University, Jannie Mouton Foundation, Entersekt and other local philanthropists. The project is also supported by the Nedbank Proud of my Town initiative in Stellenbosch.

“We are so grateful to these funders who share our vision for Stellenbosch; one where locals connect with locals and where any business owner could have the opportunity to trade from the centre of town. To date, R2,6 million has been raised between these funders. Fundraising is ongoing and there is an opportunity to sponsor one of five street food trucks where micro entrepreneurs can sell local food flavours,” says Marli Goussard, Ranyaka Enterprise Development Manager.

Opportunity for vendors

Vendors who are interested in trading their quality, locally-produced goods and services in the centre of Stellenbosch whilst uplifting and transforming the community around them, are invited to fill out the vendor application form at http://bit.ly/STBHUBVENDOR or to click on the Vendor Application Form link on the Ranyaka website at https://ranyaka.co.za/entrepreneurship-hub/ or to contact Ranyaka at the details provided below.

The following types of businesses can apply to do business at or through the hub: Baristas, fresh and packaged food suppliers, bakers and confectionary providers, fashion designers, accessory designers or crafters, barbers, hair braiders, nail technicians, artists and crafters, tourism services, gift providers as well as professional services (entrepreneurs who would require hot-desking and/or office space).

The CoCREATE Hub forms part of Ranyaka’s Building Business programme – one of ten programmes that forms part of Ranyaka’s Collaborative Community Transformation framework which is currently being implemented in nine towns in eight provinces across South Africa under the banner of the Nedbank Proud of my Town programme.

For more information

For more information on the CoCREATE Hub project or to enquire about the possibility of selling your products or offering your services at the Hub, contact Marli Goussard on 084 212 2000 or email marli@ranyaka.co.za. Information also available here: https://ranyaka.co.za/entrepreneurship-hub/

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