We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for entrepreneurs interested in being part of the Western Cape’s first inclusive kitchen incubator.The Makers Landing Food Lab incubation programme, created in partnership with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, is now accepting applications from candidates interested in joining the first cohort of the programme.The programme will offer opportunities to qualified business start-ups and existing small food businesses that can show that they will benefit significantly from affordable access to a licensed commercial kitchen space, and technical assistance and training from experts in food industry techniques and general business operations.The incubator programme has been developed by Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts with real life experience. It will be run as modules of six months at a time, and will consist of two sessions a week. Sessions will comprise of a combination of online modules, in-class learning and individual assignments. Participants will learn the fundamentals of building a business and gain insight into the local food industry, through modules which cover a variety of topics such as food safety, product development, marketing, sales, operations and finance.The programme will also offer entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen, allowing them to take a product or an idea and produce it to scale; as well as the chance to test these products or food ideas out with a real audience at the Makers Landing food market.Candidates interested in applying for the programme should have:An existing food business that is actively selling or operating, and that has been formally or informally in operation for at least six months, but less than three years.A desire to formalise and expand their food business and a plan for how to achieve that growth.A personal support network.An entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm and persistence.A vision for the business.Admittance to the Makers Landing Food Lab programme is a competitive process that takes into account several practical factors, including limited space in the kitchen. Promising candidates will be interviewed by the Makers Landing team and an advisory committee of industry professionals. As businesses move from pre-incubation to incubation and onto graduation, so the programme will make way for the next group of candidates to be admitted.Some costs will be applicable to new applicants joining the Maker Landing Food Lab programme, although these fees have been largely discounted by being subsidised by the Jobs Fund and the V&A Waterfront. Fees include:A minimum of R1 500 per month for six-months, or R9 000 total. Thereafter candidates will pay R5 000, monthly for access support services and kitchen space.In order to be accepted into the programme all candidates must have the necessary health and safety certifications required to run a business, without which a company cannot operate or grow. The cost for the R638 certificate is R2 800 (excluding vat) per delegate and the CIPC is on average R525, totalling approximately R3 745 for both.Interested applicants can apply here: Applications for the first cohort close 23 October 2020.