Start-up success through ‘treppie’ truck | Infrastructure news

The “Treppie” truck, a mobile entrepreneur incubator aimed at equipping start-ups with the right skills and tools to succeed is a partnership between Isuzu Trucks and small business development agency MEDO.

This follows on from the widely endorsed National Development Plan which has identified small and medium enterprises as being vital to addressing job creation in South Africa. With approximately 80% of start-ups closing down within the first five years, the need for more small business incubator programmes is real.

“Treppie” – an adaptation of the word Entrepreneur –is a converted Isuzu Truck that is equipped with ten computers and internet connectivity with a team on hand to assist entrepreneurs to register with SARS, CIPC and other business related services such as business development, financial management, marketing and admin skills. All these services are provided to the community free of charge.

The truck’ maiden tour was done in Port Elizabeth, where Isuzu’s main factory is situated and where the company recently unveiled their newly refurbished plant in Kempston Road. The Treppie truck’s first community drive promoted idea generation in amongst local residents. Individuals who aspire to grow their small businesses were invited to visit the mobile office to pitch their business ideas. The winning pitches would then have access to further training and the chance to apply for the range of MEDO entrepreneurial programmes.

Craig Uren, Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Truck South Africa, says “Isuzu Truck South Africa is committed to stimulating economic activity in the Eastern Cape and the country as a whole. This also entails creating and tapping into entrepreneurial efforts which are often limited due to lack of resource. We are hopeful that the Treppie truck will not only bring essential information and services to the community, but will have tangible success stories to profile in the future”.

To date, the community’s response to the Treppie Truck has been remarkable with an average of 120 people a day visiting the truck in the Motherwell area. There have been nearly 150 applications for ‘One Day Workshops’ or Foundation Business Skill Programme with MEDO. The F-series truck has also travelled from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town and back.

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