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IMBE Enterprise Incubator
Johannesburg, South Africa
Last updated on 15 Jul 2021
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Purpose: IMBE is a solution-based and community-oriented partner for microenterprises, helping them to source and secure funding and to establish and grow towards their unique long-term vision. We have a direct focus on women-run enterprises and early child development in South Africa and are fully committed to the success of every entrepreneur and the future potential of every child. The KYB Enterprise Incubator (the Incubator) has become IMBE. This is not merely a name change but a transformation based on important lessons of its first 5 years. Over the next three years IMBE will deepen its impact on the financial resilience of ECD enterprises with a particular focus on stabilising enterprise income, lowering input costs and creating access to growth capital. While this signifies change, there is continuity in our transformation. The Incubator was founded in 2015 by Yellowwoods and Kago Ya Bana (KYB) program in the Hollard Foundation Trust (HFT). In its initial phase, the Incubator worked closely with various partners to raise and disburse start-up capital for new non-centre based Early Childhood Development (ECD) enterprises, contributed to the ECD Coalition’s systems change work and experimented with infrastructure investments that would assist in unlocking the Department of Social Development’s subsidy for ECD enterprises. Over this period, the Incubator has gained valuable insights on the potential that ECD enterprises have to generate sustainable livelihoods for their owners and the obstacles they face in starting, stabilising and growing their businesses. IMBE remains owned by the Hollard Foundation Trust. IMBE’s board of directors are Nicola Galombik (Chair), Siven Maslamoney, Ntjantja Ned and myself, Lerato Lehoko. I was recently appointed MD after having served on the founding team and board. As we embark on this next phase of our journey, we endeavour to build on our experience to date and accelerate IMBE’s impact on ECD enterprises. IMBE’s success will be built on partnerships. Our strong and valued partners remain Hollard, Hollard Foundation Trust, USAID, BLSA, Investec, The Jobs Fund, Yellowwoods, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and SmartStart.