16 October 2019
UWC launches first design and entrepreneurship incubator store of its kind in SA

(Published - 16 October 2019)

On Tuesday, 14 October 2019, the University of the Western Cape launched the first design and entrepreneurship incubator store of its kind in South Africa, while at the same time boosting the ‘Buy Local’ campaign.

The incubator store was opened in collaboration with Wear South African (Wear SA) - the buy local initiative by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) - at the University’s Faculty of Community and Health Sciences building in the Bellville CBD.

The store will train and employ 18 students. The students were identified as the first intake to staff the incubator store and they received training in every area relevant to the sector, including marketing, retail, clothing manufacturing and design, and entrepreneurship. The students will receive a monthly stipend from Wear SA. UWC and Wear SA entered into a historic five-year agreement.

The store stocks garments from well-known local brands such as Magents, X94, DOD, Blue Collar White Collar and WEAR.

Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), Charleen Duncan, said the CEI wanted to encourage and build an entrepreneurial mindset, as well as a pioneering spirit in all UWC graduates.

“The opportunity exposes students to the local manufacturing as well as the retail sectors,” said Duncan at the launch of the incubator store.

“Incubators are vital within an academic space if we want to enhance the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. The store will also be a space for student designers to work with established designers and to have an opportunity to sell their garments.

“The importance of investing in youth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the manufacturing sector cannot be ignored if we want to meet the goal of creating the additional 11 million jobs by 2030 that the National Development Plan refers to.”

Manie Regal, UWC’s Executive Director of Finance and Services, said it was a time to be serious about making a change in South Africa.

“Through partnerships such as these we improve the conditions in South Africa,” he said.

“This is our movement of success; this is how we show the rest of the country what we are doing to improve the conditions in South Africa by creating jobs. Thank you to the partners who made this possible - CEI, Wear SA and Sactwu. We are grateful for all the hard work you put into this,” Regal said.

For more information contact Wendy Mehl on +27 21 959 9549 via email at wmehl@uwc.ac.za