Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn

Welcome to Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, the first township tech hub in South Africa established in 2016.

Located at Lookout Hill in Cape Town, we are the anchor of UVU Africa’s township technology innovation cluster. Our mission is to empower people in Khayelitsha and surrounding townships with the skills and platforms to benefit from the digital economy and 4th industrial revolution.

Our tech ecosystem is rapidly growing and broadening in scope, reaching neighbouring and connected communities. We are committed to catalysing progress with our unique programme offerings designed to increase funding and impact. Our model has proven to be impactful in supporting township-based entrepreneurs and small businesses to use technology and innovation to grow, as well as providing basic digital literacy programmes.

Explore Our Impact

A glimpse of our impact across our areas of expertise
3000

township-based entrepreneurs supported through light touch interventions

500

informal traders trained in smart technology

40

computer lab space available for training and events

At Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, we are dedicated to supporting more communities in the country exponentially.

We are also well-positioned to act as a funnel for the skills pipeline, ensuring maximum participation of township youth in other programmes, including bespoke acceleration programmes and advanced digital skills training. So far, we have supported over 3,000 township-based entrepreneurs and trained over 500 informal traders in smart technology.

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Our Vision

To design and create future-fit, inclusive societies by building the innovation ecosystem, providing digital skills training, and developing entrepreneurial skills and businesses through technology. We invite you to join us on this journey towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

Space in the heart of Khayelitsha

The Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn is a functional, safe space where innovators and entrepreneurs can come together to solve problems and build businesses.

Event Space

Our 160-seater event space is the perfect place to host ecosystem events, product launches, and engagements where entrepreneurs can learn, network, and showcase their businesses.

Meeting Areas

Our casual and flexible meeting spaces are available to meet with clients, make deals, and host visitors.

Co-workspace

We have co-workspace available where entrepreneurs can work, innovate, meet, and engage.

Training Centre

Our state-of-the-art 40-seater computer training centre provides training programmes to the larger community.

To book the event space, meeting pods, training centre, or arrange a tour of the facilities, please contact zoliswa@uvuafrica.com.

Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn has a deep understanding of what services and support are needed within our communities

To ensure that ecosystem activities and programmes provide value and growth, an annual Sector Intelligence Report:

Township Tech is produced and
available to partners and stakeholders.

Programmes & Outcomes

The reality in South Africa is that there is a digital divide that hinders optimal economic inclusion in previously disadvantaged communities. The lack of these basic skills limits the abilities of entrepreneurs and individuals to compete with their counterparts and access the online markets. We carefully crafted the interventions below to make the biggest impact in our communities and bring more people into the digital economy.

Youth in Business Ideation Bootcamp

We support new entrepreneurs through a 10-day entrepreneurial ideation bootcamp, developed to help them think through their business concepts and provide them with the necessary steps to start their business. The 2-weeks bootcamp-style programme takes place from Monday – Friday (09:00 – 15:00), and the aspiring entrepreneurs are expected to participate in all the sessions where they work through a variety of activities designed to clarify, discuss, and apply the key concepts and information needed to succeed.

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Mentorship

We provide professional mentorship matching to support entrepreneurs with business mentorship in a critical stage of their early journey. These mentors are equipped with insight specifically relating to helping entrepreneurs based in the townships.

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Hackathons

The TownshipTech hackathon and pitch competition is a highlight on the calendar for the last 3 years. Sponsors come together, and we engage with funders and stakeholders on problem statements – ask entrepreneurs and developers to come up with innovative ideas to solve these complex problems. Bespoke hackathons on relevant problem statements are hosted as and when required.

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Pitch Competitions

We allow startups and new entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a group of judges, receive feedback on their ideas, and stand the chance to win some prize money, mentorship, and support. Pitch competitions are a great way to see what exciting entrepreneurs and businesses are developing within the ecosystem. These competitions are a great tool to see what innovative ideas are coming from the entrepreneurs of the future.

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Digital Citizen Programme

The Digital Citizen Literacy programme is a fully funded programme that focuses on upskilling young people aged 18-34 years, who reside in Khayelitsha and its surroundings. The purpose of this programme is to provide basic computer and digital skills.

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Service Centre Project

There is potential to bring work closer to the people by developing a digital/tech-based service center, located at the Bandwidth Barn (Lookout Hill). Two separate pilot projects were launched with great success where newly digitally skilled candidates provide support in a service center model to township entrepreneurs. The candidates gain valuable experience and can build their portfolio of evidence, and township-based businesses have access to a service that was not available to them on-site.

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Events

Monthly events are hosted both in Khayelitsha and Woodstock and are open to entrepreneurs, investors, and the larger ecosystem. Web3, Biotech, Edtech specific, as well as compliance, marketing master classes, and a variety of other thematic events are hosted to
support learning, networking and
ecosystem stimulation.

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Meet Some of Our Participants!

I've learnt and unlearnt a lot from the programme. I belive that if I went to market before coming on the course, I would have missed the vision!

- Yonela Mneno, Founder of Ndiyazazi

"My biggest takeaway was learning that I needed to focus not just on sales, but my client's perception of my brand"

- Wilma Petersen, Founder of True Kroes

"Everything I have learnt has been valuable in elevating my small business"

- Lucinda Ramsay, Founder of 2020 V

Get Involved!

Become a Partner of Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn and support the future of youth and entrepreneurship in South Africa. You can become involved by:

Reach out to Marietjie Engelbrecht, UVU Group Head
of Marketing, Ecosystem & Township Economy at:

marietjie.engelbrecht@uvuafrica.com

if you want to collaborate or support the work we do at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn.

Meet some of our entrepreneurs

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JOIN OUR ECOSYSTEM