More than fifty local Noupoort entrepreneurs have graduated from a business incubation capacity building programme that is aimed at driving sustainable local enterprises.
The Noupoort Windfarm Enterprise Development Programme, which was implemented over a 6-month period, celebrated with 53 entrepreneurs who recently graduated from the programme, 25 start-ups and 28 existing businesses.
The programme assisted those who wished to start businesses (start-ups) as well as existing entrepreneurs to move forward with their business vision. The programme also incorporated the turn-around as well as restarting of existing projects that were developed as part of an economic development drive in Noupoort. A combination of business skills and technical training as coaching was provided over a six-month period. Monthly one hour coaching sessions were conducted with business advisors. Each entrepreneur identified three goals to be achieved by the end of the programme. “The workshops were structured with the local community in mind as well as a long-term view that they needed to be independent. The entrepreneurs, namely existing operational businesses and start-ups, were split into groups to allow for maximum benefit,” explained Economic Development Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm, Livhuwani Sikhipha.
Situated in the Umsobomvu Municipal Area located 10km east of Noupoort in the Northern Cape, Noupoort Wind Farm spans 7500 hectares and comprises thirty five 99m-high wind turbines. The wind farm is now producing clean renewable electrical energy to meet the needs of almost 70 000 average South African households. Noupoort Wind Farm achieved its Commercial Operations Date on schedule and on budget. In addition to producing clean renewable energy, which eliminates approximately 300 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, the country benefits from minimal water consumption during the generation process and significant social and enterprise development programmes.