Business & Industry Call for food entrepreneurs to join industry incubator

Call for food entrepreneurs to join industry incubator


The V&A Waterfront will be opening a new, purpose-driven industrial space called Makers Landing at the Cape Town Cruise terminal in 2020, and will be launching the Western Cape’s first kitchen incubator programme as part of this initiative.

The Makers Landing Food Lab incubation programme, in partnership with National Treasury’s Job Fund, is now open for applications. 

It will be an incubator for the local food industry, promoting job creation and small business development, and facilitating skills sharing.

The programme will provide access to a commercial kitchen, technical assistance and training from food industry experts. 

It will give entrepreneurs and small food businesses support and mentorship, as well as a chance to get a foothold in the industry and scale up their business.

Applicants must have an existing food business that has been in operation for at least six months, but no more than three years.

The kitchen incubator programme will be the cornerstone of Makers Landing, with the space also to include a kitchen studio and event space showcasing South Africa’s food heritage. There will also be a Makers’ Space with stalls and eateries, giving insight into food production while providing authentically local meals and produce.

“Our plan is to immerse our entrepreneurs in an inclusive and innovative space, where they will be nurtured by food industry mentors who are influential and successful in their own right,” Makers Landing project leader Westleigh Wilkinson says. 

The programme will run as modules of six months at a time, and consist of two sessions a week. Sessions will include online modules, in-class learning and assignments.

Content has been developed by Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts. Candidates will receive expert technical support, along with bi-weekly mentor meetings, and the curriculum will cover everything from food safety, product development, marketing and sales, to operations and finance.

“One aspect that sets this programme apart from any existing programme is that it will also offer entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen, allowing them to take a product or an idea and produce it to scale,” V&A Waterfront CEO David Green says.

“At Makers Landing there will also be a food market, so they will also be able to test these products or food ideas out with a real audience.

“The idea is that a pipeline will be created for these food businesses to get started in a supportive environment, and to eventually – with the knowledge gained – move to larger operations, and possibly even their own brick-and-mortar restaurants,” Green says.   

Some costs will be applicable to new applicants joining the programme, though these fees have been largely discounted by the Jobs Fund and the V&A Waterfront. Fees include a monthly sum access the training, network and facilities provided, as well as costs to cover regulatory items such as health and safety certification. 

For more information, or to apply for or become involved in the incubation programme, visit:

Applications for the first group of candidates close on October 23.