Rent increment freeze for incubated entrepreneurs

MBABANE – Small Enterprises Development Company’s (SEDCO) Board of Directors have announced a rental increment freeze for the financial year 2021/2022.

This is meant to give financial relief to businesses incubated at SEDCO estate that are dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEDCO’s Senior Manager Business Incubation, Skhumbuzo Mbuyisa, said this intervention would assist the incubated small businesses to stay in business and avoid bankruptcy or insolvency.

“We are hoping that this rent increment freeze will give incubatees some relief as they recover from the effects of the pandemic and hopefully avoid the closure of their businesses”, Mbuyisa said.

Mbuyisa further stated that robust interventions were necessary to support small businesses to stay in business; improve continuity of business income; andreduce stress and uncertainty for entrepreneurs.

A SEDCO incubatee who runs a tailoring business said she was very grateful for the rent freeze because, since the start of the pandemic, her revenue had been significantly low.

“This rent increment freeze will help me to stay in business as I try to recover from the impact of the lockdowns,” she said.

SEDCO’s business incubation programme seeks to accelerate the creation and growthsmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by way of providing them with resources and business support services over a defined period. Entrepreneurs in the business incubation programme are provided with working spaces at a subsidised fee, a capacity development plan, and 15 standard training courses for three years.

In the reporting period ending June 30 this year, at least 123 (117 in the previous quarter) businesses were incubated across the nine SEDCO estates.