WHY BUSINESS INCUBATION LEADS TO SUSTAINED SUCCESS
Lwandiso Mgwetyana, Director of Lithendo Consulting, graduated from SBU’s pre-incubation at the end of October 2015 and began full incubation as a virtual client. Lithendo Consulting is a pure start-up company that used the intellectual know-how and experience of its founders to enter the market as a firm of consulting engineers.
SBU’s Cape Town incubator assisted Lwandiso in developing a realistic and viable costing model, as well as in refining their business model. With these interventions in place, Lwandiso was able to enter the marketplace with a lot more confidence than he had before. They have also resulted in significant traction for his business and some of the major developments since include:
- Securing Woolworths as a client and their consumption of services has increased from zero orders in December and January to two orders in February 2016. They are now expecting a third order.
- Consolidating their relationships with Energy Partners. Lithendo initiated communication in January 2016 and as a result of this, they issued two purchase orders to Energy Partners for consumption of services
- Forging a relationship with Afroteq which has grown from exploratory meetings in December and January 2016 to a concrete requirement to support their business with a fulltime project manager for the next six months.
- Completing and handing over a power quality monitoring project to the City of Cape Town’s Voelvlei Water Treatment Plant. Negotiations are underway with the City of Cape Town to repeat the same project at other plants.
Besides these positive effects on turnover, Lithendo’s increased activity has also seen the company begin to create job opportunities. This is despite only being in the SBU programme for four months. The company is also considering growing its team by adding an administrative assistant and interviews for a junior project manager position were conducted in March.
The impact of SBU’s interventions, and the value derived by Lithendo, has been so significant that Lwandiso decided to move to the Resident Incubation Programme from 1 February 2016.