by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SMALL, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa’s technology sector are to access business mentoring, incubation and training opportunities, to help advance their market access and exposure.
This follows collaboration between Cisco and WomHub, a boutique incubator for female science, technology, engineering, mining and manufacturing (STEM) business founders in South Africa, supported by the launch of two Cisco EDGE Centres at WomHub spaces in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
EDGE is an acronym for “Experience, Design, GTM (Go to Market) and Earn.”
The partnership builds on Cisco’s existing commitment to empower an inclusive digital future for all, in this case by promoting gender equality and driving innovation and job creation in South Africa’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, officials said.
“The tech start-up scene in South Africa is evolving at a phenomenal rate,” said Smangele Nkosi, General Manager at Cisco South Africa.
“We are keen to proactively support these innovative small businesses, and foster a diverse, inclusive tech landscape by boosting support for women in the sector.
Through the Cisco EDGE Centre collaboration, participants in WomHub’s incubation programme will have access to Cisco experts and receive specialised training and mentorship.
Anjani Harjeven, Chief Executive Officer at WomHub, said, “Everything we do is about building the entire ecosystem to support women in STEM.”
The EDGE Centre is part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme.
CDA was founded in 2015 and has since evolved into programs in 49 countries, with over 1 500 active or completed projects – spanning more than two-thirds of the world’s population and 75 percent of global GDP.
A key pillar to the programme is Cisco’s Networking Academy.
In South Africa, 61 percent of the current Academy intake of 82 219 students are female. Half of the 1 127 Cisco’s Networking Academy instructors are female.
“This new, powerful collaboration further demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to fostering innovation and supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, focusing on women who are often underrepresented in the tech sector,” said Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer of Cisco.
– CAJ News