In addition, RMCERI puts a lot of focus into the selection of the SMMEs that join its incubation program. It also assists SMMEs that have been specified by its clients. All the impact made by the clients is recorded and verified by a third party.
Enterprise Development (ED) is the process of developing small or medium companies. In South Africa this definition differs from the rest of the world due to the intention of enterprise development. In South Africa, Enterprise Development (ED) and Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) is one of the three Priority Elements of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Scorecard.
RMCERI is wholly owned by Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Its primary focus is to develop young technologically innovative entrepreneurs to establish profitable businesses. As part of ED and ESD offering, RMCERI operates a 3-year incubation model, which focuses on the development of SMEs which are broadly in the transport industry. The main focus is particularly in SMES that are manufacturing components in the rail and automotive transport sectors. RMCERI looks to assist SMEs with a 51% plus black ownership, however other race groups are encouraged to apply to join the program. The intake of new clients is not fixed.
RMCERI also offers ED and ESD Supplier initiatives that are tailor made to align with specific client requirements. RMCERI has been successful in assisting two of its SMEs to supply Gibela Rail Consortium with components that they have designed and manufactured. RMCERI also promotes localization and import replacement in order to contribute towards the resuscitation of the South African manufacturing industry.
The unique selling point of RMCERI’s approach to ED and ESD is that the program includes technical and product development infrastructure provided through TUT. Through its relationship with TUT, RMCERI has ready to commercialize technical prototypes that are waiting for the right entrepreneur to take forward. Other core focus areas in the ED and ESD initiative include:
Innovation development from prototype to product, and help bring to life new innovations for commercial benefit. This includes prototype development, fundraising, market analysis, marketing, incubation, product manufacturing, negotiating commercial deals, networking and partnerships.
Holistic business skills development with Business Development Plans, comprehensive Business Progressive Report and other business growth interventions as per individual business needs.
The infrastructure provision includes fully equipped office which includes access to office space, meeting rooms, boardroom and general office equipment. This infrastructure also includes limited access to technical facilities within the university.