Business Incubation

Business Technology Incubation

Business Technology Incubation is internationally acknowledged to be an ideal medium to support start-up and emerging micro, small and medium sized businesses. The Furniture Technology Centre Trust (Furntech) offers support to existing and start up businesses by providing incubation facilities for aspiring entrepreneurs with skills in the furniture manufacturing industry. Furntech’s Business Technology Incubation Model has been designed to to assist and nurture existing and potential entreprenuers/businesses through the challenging early stages of developing and growing the business.

The objective of the Furntech BTI programme is to ensure that emerging and existing small business entrepreneurs in the woodworking and furniture industries survive the start-up period and grow into confident, successful business people who are well grounded financially and secure in their knowledge of how to run an independent productive business.

The success of Furntech’s incubation service lies in its flexible combination of skills training and business development processes, infrastructure, and people. It is designed to nurture and protect new and existing small businesses by assisting selected entrepreneurs with all aspects of starting up and developing their company into a sustainable business, while meeting milestones within an agreed upon period.  The Furntech Business Technology Incubator programme has been established to contribute to increased economic growth and employment by providing a protective environment for new and existing small businesses in the furniture and wood work sector for a limited period.

Why Business Technology Incubation (BTI)?

Since managing or starting up any small business is a challenge for most, the BTI programmes are established to assist and nurture emerging companies during the first few years of operation until they have established themselves within their community. The main outcomes of BTI are employment and business creation for the previously unemployed and those struggling to get their business to grow. Incubating businesses locally helps entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneur to overcome the barriers to entry in that industry and reduce the failure rate of businesses.

These incubator “graduates” – businesses create jobs, revitalise neighbourhoods, raise productivity and competitiveness through technological innovation and strengthen local and national economies. Critical to the above definition of an incubator is hands-on management assistance, training, information, technical and business support services, networking resources, marketing and financial advice tailored to the company’s needs. The Furntech BTI programme has specifically being design to provide these services either directly or through facilitation.

Goals and Challenges of the Furntech Business Technology Incubation (BTI) Programme –

The goal of our BTI programme is not only to ensure the emerging and existing small business survives the start-up period when they face the most challenges, but also to produce confident, successful business people that are well grounded financially and secure in their knowledge of how to run a productive business independently, within two years of start – up. Through its incubator programme, Furntech aims to play a more direct facilitative role in the business development field of the furniture industry.

The Furntech Business Technology Incubator programme like most other incubator programmes are based on 3 core principles –

  • Focus on nurturing and growing successful businesses – business and employment creation
  • Operates towards a self – sustaining business – Initially cost recovery principles apply
  • Offers services including training designed to meet the needs of its client businesses

Furntech’s BTI process further benefits from its affiliation with the Small Enterprise Development Agency Technology Programme (Stp), and membership of the National Business Incubation Association of America and the South African Business Technology Incubation Association. Furntech is the leading developer of a sustainable model for manufacturing incubation in the furniture and wood product sector. Furntech’s reputation has extended beyond South Africa and the organisation has been invited to participate in incubation conferences and workshops in Zambia, China, the USA and the UK.

The Furntech BTI process can be illustrated as follows:


 Target Market

The individuals/businesses that are targeted for participation in the Furntech Business Technology Incubator Programme include:


  • The unemployed/retrenched with a passion or interest in woodworking and furniture manufacturing and who have some experience in running and managing a business
  • Existing small and micro enterprises in the woodworking and furniture manufacturing industry
  • Emerging/start-up small and micro enterprises in the woodworking and furniture manufacturing industry
  • Individuals who are working in the furniture manufacturing and wood working industry who want to start their own business.