Eugene von Brandis MPP
DA Western Cape Spokesperson for Economic development and tourism
On September 11th 2013, the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Development and Tourism (SCOF), was briefed at the Provincial Legislature by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) on the Bandwidth Barn.
The Bandwidth Barn, which is currently housed at the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town, is an information and technologies (ICT) startup and business incubator, offering the ICT entrepreneurial community in the Western Cape an array of services.
Business incubators are programmes which are designed to support the development of entrepreneurial companies. The Bandwidth Barn offers this support in the form of business support resources and services which are developed and coordinated by incubator management. These services are offered in the incubator and through its network.
The Bandwidth Barn was established at the beginning of the millennium as a common place for ICT entrepreneurs to share the high costs of internet services. Today, the Bandwidth Barn is regarded as one of the leading ICT business incubators in the world.
Seed funding for the incubator was provided by the DEDT and the Bandwidth Barn is now sustainable through its service offerings. To date DEDT has contributed R6.4m in funding for Bandwidth Barn programmes.
Financial support was extended to the incubator upon recognition of the potential for innovation through funding enterprise development and entrepreneurial support.
Incubators and the businesses they foster have the potential to create jobs and encourage economic growth, something we are constantly trying to improve.
The success of the Bandwidth Barn is hard to argue with as businesses are more than two and a half times more likely to survive through business incubation than non-incubated businesses.
As a province that is considered to be the most entrepreneurial in the country it is encouraging to see the support that such incubators like the Bandwidth Barn are being given by DEDT and the successes that flow from this support.
This is proof of the DA’s continuing efforts to create a sustainable and growing business environment, creating investment and job opportunities for the people in the Western Cape.