21 May 2021 Food industry start-ups benefit from expert mentorship and training in a state of the art environment as new applications open for August 2021 programme. The V&A Waterfront’s R63 million investment in Makers Landing, in partnership with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, is bearing fruit as the first intake of SMMEs graduate from Makers Landing’s Food Lab Incubation Programme. Maker’s Landing provides the perfect environment for growing food businesses, while the incubation programme demonstrates the value of assembling the right partnership ecosystem, skills and resources. The eight graduates are the first to complete the four-month intensive training programme. The structured programme offers opportunities to qualified start-ups and existing small food businesses that can show that they will benefit significantly from mentorship, training and affordable access to a licensed commercial kitchen space. This programme runs over four months, with two sessions a week, of two to three hours each. The course content, which was developed by Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts, is a combination of online modules, in-class learning and individual assignments. These are supplemented with technical expert support and weekly mentor meetings. The programme combines online learning, classroom sessions, industry experts and use of the Makers Landing commercial kitchen. The focus is on laying solid business foundations, providing entrepreneurs with tools for success, and working purposefully towards their business goals. Alex Kabalin, V&A Waterfront Retail Executive explains, “The incubation programme immerses entrepreneurs in an inclusive and innovative space where they will be nurtured by food industry mentors who are influential and successful in their own right. By matching natural creativity and passion for food with knowledge and new skills gained, our food entrepreneurs will be better prepared for success in what is a tough and competitive industry.” Successful candidates will have access to a commercial kitchen space, as well as the opportunity to participate in Makers Landing programming and events, and market opportunities. Existing food businesses that are actively selling or operating, and that have been in operation for less than three years, can apply too. “Our intention is to attract talented young people to the sector by removing some of the barriers to entry such as technical and operational resources,” says Kabalin. “We are specifically looking for early-stage entrepreneurs (start-up, aspirant and grassroots) with limited access to resources, in the packaged foods, food service and catering industries.” Applications are now open for the next programme which will run from 3 August to 1 December. Applications close on 30 June. To apply, interested candidates can visit the Makers Landing website at www.makerslanding.co.za. The below eight candidates graduate from the programme on 21 May 2021: Zulfa Cassiem (Ooh Fudge) Charmaine Govender-Koen (Charm’s Kitchen) Cikizwa Galela (Ciki Graceland Café) Jane Nshuti (Tamu by Jane) Saa-rah Adams (Frikkadeli) Faieez “Fuzzy” Alexander (Fuzzy’s Food) Lester Adams & Connor Wolstencroft (Slow & Low) Gareth Forbes & Jen Wheatley (The House of Yummy) Read their profiles here.