“In our fast paced and highly competitive world, every job applicant can only benefit by having something unique that he can include on his CV in order to give added value to the employer. Something more than the next guy has. So says Kamogelo Makumba, mentor at the Boston Connect Incubator, situated in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
“This incubator has been created for a couple of reasons,” says Makumba. “Most importantly, we believe that students and graduates can no longer approach corporates and expect immediate success in their job hunting. We believe that they need corporate skills, soft skills that you will not have as part of your academic curriculum. You know in the job ads where it says ‘work experience required’? We are providing that work experience opening up so many more potential jobs to the graduates of the incubator”.
Essentially, the Boston Connect Incubator is a space where graduates from various industries are mentored and coached, in order to create new businesses and also to gain new skills that can only be gained in an active workplace. The graduates either brainstorm their own business ideas, which they then submit as a proposal for a team to work on, or they are provided with opportunities via corporates to partner them into creating new business opportunities. This creates a potential for every member of the incubator to get an opportunity to network with corporates, they have access to facilities such as internet, laptops, admin, mentors and an office.
Also, for example, the existing businesses that are being developed have access to media graduates as mentors to help them develop their website, logos, promo videos, and marketing material. They have a systematic environment in which they can brainstorm ideas, connect the dots with corporates who are either sponsors of the incubator or with other corporates, get feedback on their ideas and then develop them into businesses with a greater chance of success because of the corporate feedback.
Makumba goes on to further describe what is happening day-to-day in the incubator. “This incubator is made up of graduates from varying industries. The participants are mostly Boston alumni. They come on board and work on different businesses projects and courses. For eg, we have an HIV project, a financial team, including a stokvel, a law group that includes a course around law, entrepreneurship, a Boston Connect soccer league, and all these are under the Boston Connect incubator.”