A REMARKABLE MILESTONE AND BRIGHT FUTURE FOR SMART XCHANGE
By: Dale Munatswa
Smart Exchange stakeholders converged at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel on Tuesday to celebrate their 10-year momentous milestone and officially launch an innovation investment programme.
Smart Xchange is an organisation started in 2004. Its object is to develop and support ICT SMME’s through incubation. The company has developed significantly since its formation. It has won three awards in recognition for its outstanding performance. In 2013 it was recognised for Best Performing Incubator of the year, it won the Top Business award and also received the Alec Rogoff Enterprise Development Award 2013.
Jonathan Naidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Exchange said that the past ten years saw the company grow and work with society to improve local and national development. One key aspect the company has been taking into great consideration is the employment of graduates out of higher education institutions.
“This is what Smart Xchange achieved over the ten years; A collective turnover of just under R750 000, a collective profit of just R150m and 910 permanent sustainable jobs. A good story to tell,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo said that graduates from local higher education Institutions, such as Durban University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal who cannot get jobs are the ideal people who keep an incubator moving forward.
He noted that graduates join the programs at Smart Xchange and acquire skills which they will use in developing SMME’s.
At the event, Smart Xchange and Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) officially launched a 5-year innovation investment programme. Through this programme, Smart Xchange will receive funding to incubate and assist SMME’s in the ICT industry for the period. The TIA Executive Health Portfolio Manager Bonginkosi Gumede handed a staggering R5 000 000 cheque to the board members of Smart Xchange. In total Smart Xchange will receive R25m over the 5-year term.
Guest of honour and speaker of the eThekwini Council Loggie Naidoo promised that the local government will support Smart Xchange in all of their endeavours as a small incubation company. He applauded the company for their achievements and said that the relationship between the company and the municipality is a good example of a successful government-private/NGO partnership.