Cisco’s SMME incubation hub opens in North West
Cisco and Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub (MDIHub) have joined forces to set up the latest Experience, Design, Go to Market and Earn (EDGE) Centre in the North West province.
Located in Mafikeng, North West, the EDGE Centre becomes Cisco’s sixth in South Africa. The other centres are in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and East London.
According to a statement, the centre will support small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the region, with a focus on agriculture, sustainability and cyber security.
Additionally, it will offer youth in the province digital skills training programmes via the Cisco Networking Academy, through which Cisco has trained close to 260 000 learners.
“Bringing the Cisco EDGE experience to regions, including the North West, is essential to provide South Africans with a chance to participate in the global digital economy,” says Clayton Naidoo, senior director for country digital acceleration at Cisco Africa.
“At Cisco, we believe technology plays a critical role in powering an inclusive future for all. By connecting people and businesses via the Cisco ecosystem and platforms, we create real impact and help prepare the country for a digital future.”
The establishment of the EDGE Centres form part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme introduced in South Africa in 2019.
Last month, Cisco and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies announced a new phase of the country's CDA programme, to collaborate on economic development, digital skills and talent development, sustainable critical national infrastructure, cyber security and digitisation of government services.
Cisco says the EDGE Centres serve as a space to share business knowledge to stimulate innovation, help develop SMMEs in the digital age, speed up their entry to market and create new jobs for the local economy.
The centres offer local small and medium businesses and innovators access to connectivity and networking technologies.
“We believe that technology is truly powerful when combined with education and upskilling. By working with both SMMEs and young people, we are aiming for maximum impact to speed up our region’s social and economic progress,” says Joseph Ndaba, CEO of MDIHub.