Thinkubate offers essential skills courses for SMEs, start-up founders

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 13 Feb 2024
Catherine Young, founder of Thinkroom.
Catherine Young, founder of Thinkroom.

South African consulting firm Thinkroom has launched the Thinkubate education platform, offering essential business strategy, people, tech and financial management courses for SMEs and entrepreneurs. Thinkroom specialises in small business development and entrepreneurship consulting. 

Thinkubate underwent seven years of development, during which the company crafted intellectual property, coaching content, methodologies and processes for founder immersions. At its core is the in-house built data-driven engine that leverages Thinkroom’s extensive consulting experience with clients and entrepreneurs across Africa and the UK.

The Thinkubate Academy is designed to bolster entrepreneurial skills through targeted education and assessments. The platform's primary objective is to identify and bridge significant knowledge and experience gaps prevalent among entrepreneurs.

The curriculum covers a spectrum of courses tailored for first-time business owners, covering people management, product development, marketing, sales, finance and accounting, funding and valuation, legal and IP, technology and strategy.

According to Catherine Young, who founded Thinkroom a decade ago, an essential aspect of Thinkubate's process are life-stage assessments, which identify gaps and learning experiences needed to empower entrepreneurs and SMEs. “The assessments establish which interventions will close these gaps,” she says.

Young herself has both entrepreneur and corporate experience from companies like Shoprite, Chevron and Deloitte. She is also the managing partner at Grindstone Accelerator and Grindstone Ventures. Thinkubate Academy's faculty includes founders, investors, professionals and executives from top global companies offering insights into how a founder's identity shapes their businesses.

The curriculum also includes soft skills, such as negotiating, achieving financial freedom, self-care and personal growth.

According to research by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 70% of South African SMEs fold within the first five to seven years of inception. Thinkroom’s ambition is to disrupt the high business failure rate with tailored education.

“With Thinkubate, we know we can make a measurable difference in the life cycle of entrepreneurs. Our goal is to create a steady pipeline of successful founders who go on to become the SMEs that are the engine of any growing economy,” concludes Young.