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Role & Function of the Unit . . .
TABEISA is a unique national initiative that harnesses the resources and knowledge of the university and the creativity and enthusiasm of staff and students to uplift communities by creating new businesses and jobs.

TABEISA (Technical and Business Education Initiative In South Africa) is a consortium of two British universities (Coventry and Greenwich) and four South African higher education institutions (Durban University of Technology, Peninsula University of Technology, Tshwane University of Technology and Walter Sisulu University). This consortium was initiated to:

  • foster, develop and realise economic and social development within the black community in South Africa, and
  • to increase, measurably and sustainable, the contribution of disadvantaged groups to the formal economy in South Africa through technology-based entrepreneurial activity.

The purpose of TABEISA is to generate increased employment for university of technology students from disadvantaged groups and to foster small business creation.

One of the main “engines” that has been created to drive the TABEISA initiative is the development of TABEISA Enterprise Centre (TEC). The Durban University of Technology TEC, through the provision of first class business support and development services, and through its close association with the university, will increase formal economic and business activity amongst formerly disadvantaged groups in line with the needs of the region of KwaZulu Natal. The priority for the TEC is to create jobs through the creation of sustainable businesses.

The aims of the TEC are to:

  • generate increased employment for DUT students from disadvantaged groups
  • foster small, medium and micro business creation
  • work together in partnership with others to assist disadvantaged communities
  • develop and implement innovative and practical strategies to ensure that higher education is fully accessible to disadvantaged South Africans
  • undertake projects within the TEC that will build capacity and international competitiveness in the DUT and its partners in business and industry
  • to establish relevant structures to secure the essential resources to achieve these praiseworthy objectives
  • invite and encourage participation by other higher education institutions, government, organised labour, the formal sector and the community at large.

Services Provided

Business planning, Financial analysis, Tender advice, Patent search, Patent registration, Mentoring & aftercare advice, Business plan writing and refinement, Access to finance, Electronic credit check, Specific technical advice, Specific training, Business counseling & advice, Administrative assistance, Incubation facilities and Company registration and Access to University knowledge and facilities.

Tabeisa’s Start Up Café is designed to provide access to e-commerce for our clients. This also includes virtual mentoring which will be of great assistance in providing support around the clock. An appeal is made to our academic staff that would like to become mentors to our small business and provide them with both business and technical skills to please contact Nomonde Mbadi (Ext 2106) or Nons Khanyile (Ext 6814).

Tabeisa has a number of programmes including the following:

Exclusive Roots
As means to complete the loop - developing our clients from idea stage to product development and marketing - Tabeisa started Exclusive Roots (ER). ER is a registered charity that seeks to support our clients through export. The Exclusive Roots catalogue features most of Tabeisa’s clients and is available from the Tabeisa Office. There are three ways to shop for our products: order by phone (+27 31 373 6814), shop online ( and visit our shop (this you can only do when you are in London!)

Enterprise4Life is an exciting competition that encourages groups to work in a team to design, develop and deliver their own Aids awareness project.

After you've got your team together it's time to get Aids aware. It's really important to know what you're talking about before you do anything. Again, once you have registered your team you will have access to Tabeisa material that will assist you in planning your project.

You now get to go out and deliver your project. You may decide to deliver it at a local school, or maybe a community group or maybe within your own university, school or college. Once you have completed your project you will need to submit your project report.
Tabeisa assists you all the way to get the project going - Proposal Writing, Event coordinating, Co-operative / NPO Registration, Access to government grants, linking with other service providers in acquiring of funds or grants available and trainings in HIV/Aids programmes.

Tabeisa Design 4 Life Africa Competition is exciting and inspirational, we look for great designs to be made by small business enterprises in Africa and sold in the UK through high street retailers. We look for applicants with an understanding of the market as well as a flair for design. The competition has three categories – Accessories, Batik/Dress and Jewellery, we will also want to know a bit about your design background, your views on ethical trading and how your designs fit into that.

Storyboards and Batik prints are to be submitted to the Tabeisa Office with an application form. Interested? Please contact our office more information.

Assistance on business writing skills, basic batik design, presentation and communication skills and basic financial management training.

This initiative is aimed at students, community groups and potential cooperatives. We are looking for products that could be made out of recycled material, for example paper, old tins, old fabric, etc.

A sample of a product will have to be delivered to the Tabeisa office for approval prior to an official order being placed for retailing products at the trading arm of Tabeisa Shop (Exclusive Roots) in the UK.

A client is then given training in terms of:

  • Costing and Pricing
  • Linkage with Durban Trade Point (import and exporting policies)
  • Attending exhibitions in terms of marketing their product at a national level
  • Business Advice and Counselling
  • Business Plan writing skills
  • Business development from London School of Fashion students.

Applicants are encouraged to form groups to design and develop a business idea using products made from easily available materials such as newspaper, old bottles, water bags, bottle tops, etc. Thusmajor investment will not be required avoiding the need to access finance and so incur debt.

As part of Tabeisa’s business training programme, an exciting new initiative has been developed. Soup4Life builds entrepreneurs by providing support to participants to develop the entrepreneurial skills necessary to create a business. Participants will get real business experience and will be required to deal with the challenges of developing an operating business delivering real services to the community. The business training will be both practical and rewarding as participants will be required to set up an enterprise to deliver a weekly food service to a community. Through this real experience participants will develop their business planning, budgeting, communication, time management, project planning, report writing and presentation skills.

This initiative could make a real difference. If Tabeisa assists the creation of 30 co-operatives, 150 people will be trained in entrepreneurial skills and additionally up to 3 000 people will be provided with a nutritious meal at least once a week. Teams of at least five participants (from student or local community groups) will be encouraged to create enterprises/co-operatives that will provide nutritious soup or other meals to needy communities. The most enterprising and successful delivery group will receive either:

  • Community Group - R15 000 towards an agreed community prize
  • Student Group - a laptop each

Teams receive entrepreneurial training and support to establish a co-operative. Teams set up a registered co-operative and the approved budget will be paid into the co-operative bank account. The initial payment will be for the first three weeks and further payments will be made on a weekly basis following confirmation that the ‘Soup Kitchen’ ran on the previous week.

What are we about?

  • Accessibility
  • Excellence
  • Partnerships
  • Development
  • Capacity building
  • Equal opportunities
  • Team work
  • Support ethical business practice
  • Confidentiality
  • Supporting our own businesses
  • Passion
  • Working with PDI / groups
  • Commitment
  • Innovation & creativity
  • Empowerment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Respect

How to Request for this Service . . .

Clients need to visit the office for consultation. The client’s needs are thus assessed and appropriate assistance rendered.

Contact details:

Cecil Renaud Foyer, Ground Floor
ML Sultan Campus
Tel: 031 373 6814 / 6789
Fax: 031 373 6788
Email: /