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Fueling African Innovation by
Igniting, Nurturing & Scaling Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth


By growing, supporting and scaling businesses we are fueling job creation, youth employment and stimulating the economy.


We must look at what needs to be done to promote and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and an entrepreneurial culture.” Cyril Ramaphosa. With the right mentorship, support, training, access to networks and funding, entrepreneurs will become the employment generators of tomorrow.

We believe entrepreneurs learn through interaction and activity – we facilitate learning opportunities that are as practical and as relevant as possible to the individual or team served. Entrepreneurs are furthermore supported to take the actions necessary to move to the next growth checkpoints in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Our enterprise development programmes involve a combination of:

  • Facilitated peer-to-peer learning, where participants work on each other’s businesses and hold each other accountable for progress.
  • Networking, site visits and other events, which reinforce the learning, demystify the ecosystem and help participants grow in confidence.
  • One-on-one mentorship sessions, for tackling specific blockages.
  • Content delivered by experts, laying the theoretical groundwork – experts must illustrate the theory with case studies (preferably from their own hands-on experience).
  • Group mentorship sessions create a learning unit that promotes diversity of thinking, practice, and understanding. Small group settings build the individual confidence of mentees to share ideas, feedback and opinions. Group mentoring improves mentee capacity to receive and apply constructive feedback.
  • “Fireside chats” with entrepreneurs – for inspiration and understanding typical challenges.
  • Goal-oriented milestones, giving participants a clear trajectory and encouraging healthy competitiveness.
  • Space and other services within the Barn (optional).
  • Online learning platforms to enable entrepreneurs to access knowledge and support from remote locations.

Value of partnering with UVU Accelerate

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Great industry reputation for delivery, thought leadership and innovation

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Physical presence in the vibrant communities of Woodstock and Khayelitsha

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Complete end-to-end business support from idea stage to R30m-a-year companies

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Proven clustering and ecosystem development in FinTech, EdTech and gaming

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B-BBEE Level 4 supplier that can address 3/5 elements of the B-BBEE Scorecard

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Strong corporate, public, academic and SMME partnerships

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Strong M&E and administration

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Scarce skills development and high-value job placement

Industries of focus

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UVU Accelerate provides the following market offerings:

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Entrepreneurship on Demand

This standalone online programme is for the ideation phase or to build and grow entrepreneurs who are looking for further direction and support. It consists of 10 online modules and entrepreneurs can work through the material at their own pace over 10 months. This was launched in response to a demand in the market for a programme for early-stage entrepreneurs who are just beginning their journey.

UVU Accelerate ESD Offering

Our UVU Accelerate ESD offering is our B-BBEE solution package for enterprise and supplier development (ESD) and comprises of various targeted programme offerings, specifically designed to suit the individual needs of our corporate clients. The UVU Accelerate ESD offering focuses on delivering strategic value and an achievable, measurable ROI through creating and further empowering robust entrepreneurs, developing and growing sustainable businesses, supporting, cultivating and promoting women and youth-owned businesses as well as ensuring that our corporate clients receive an impactful return on their ESD spend.

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Funding Readiness Driver

For businesses looking to grow and scale, funding forms an essential part of the movement to the next growth checkpoint in their journey. Our Funding Readiness Driver, developed in partnership with OCFO, is for businesses looking to expedite their growth trajectory through adequately preparing their businesses to actively engage funding opportunities.

Women In Business

Our Women in Business programme continues to be a flagship programme within our offering. Our delivery mechanism remained online Zoom classes, online peer to peer mentorship support and our 10 months continuing education programme. Virtual graduation events have been successful and include guest speakers, a presentation showcasing the amazing women who completed the programme, certificates, and gift packs for each participant. The online 10-month programme remains unchanged, and the mentorship groups have continued as online forums.

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Join our ecosystem

Bringing together multiple ecosystem players to build successful businesses, form win-win local and international partnerships, advocate for the industry, and promote a thriving entrepreneurial sector.

UVU Accelerate team
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Lara Rosmarin

Lara Rosmarin

Cape Town-born Lara Rosmarin has a Bachelor of Social Science degree from UCT and an Honours degree in Clinical Psychology from UWC. Early in her career, Lara worked in a corporate environment specialising in behaviour risk management where she was exposed to various businesses in different industries and learnt to interact with all levels of management and executive teams.

Lara then chose to divert her expertise to the NGO. She combined her business skills with her passion for philanthropy and invested most of her time advising some of South Africa’s top companies on their CSI and aligned strategy.

This provided her with the opportunity to raise funds for projects that she believed in. During this time, Lara wrote her first children’s book “A Magical Day For Dreaming”, all proceeds of which she donated to charity.

Armed with an in-depth knowledge of the cycle of CSI funding, Lara began working with an international organisation that promotes and facilitates effective giving, volunteering and social investment.

Lara’s corporate experience, combined with her expertise in business development and funding groomed her for her role as the CEO of Seed Academy and an Executive Director of Seed Engine. Lara’s focus at Seed Academy was to educate and empower entrepreneurs in order for them to take control of their own destinies. She believes that everyone has the ability to be an engineer of change.

After exiting Seed Academy with the sale of her shares in 2017, Lara continues to consult in the space of entrepreneurship connecting both businesses looking for an investment as well as investors looking for innovative opportunities.

Most recently Lara is focused on her role as Head of Entrepreneur Development and Incubation for The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative. As an organisation, CiTi’s mission is to build a future-proof inclusive society through technology and innovation. “By providing entrepreneurs with access to top technology tools, support, guidance, mentorship, networks and funding opportunities they are best positioned to build successful and sustainable businesses.”

Lara continues to work with various charitable organisations with a specific focus on vulnerable children, women’s issues and those facilitating much needed employment opportunities.

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Riyanah Achmat

Riyanah Achmat

Having been in the travel industry for 13 years has given Riyanah the ability to work well with people and recognize their needs. She is now utilizing her abilities to make a positive contribution CiTi as an organization and clients.

She enjoys being out in nature, long walks, long drives, a good cup of tea and good conversation. She is a people’s person and has a genuine interest in people and their lives.

Life quote: If you’re only good to those who are good to you then what good are you – Shayhk Ninowy

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Bronwyn Marks

Bronwyn Marks

Bronwyn, who is born and bred in beautiful Cape Town, holds a BTech in Public Management. Her career in various roles spans several industries from government agencies to corporate. Most of her career has been within the Human Resources field, and undertaken various roles from Recruiter to HR Consultant. She joined the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, first, in the CapaCiTi team and then changed course, and is now in the Entrepreneurial and Incubation Department. Her core focus is the flagship, Top Tech Tools for Women in Business Programme. The Women in Business programme provides a platform and creates a supportive space for women entrepreneurs to gain experiential learning experience of tech tools available and to leverage these tools which can assist to grow and scale their business.  She is pleased to be associated with CITI and the spaces provided and work they do to support business and youth remaining relevant and digitally skilled, even more at such unprecedented times.

Our Funders & Partners

UVU Accelerate is supported by partners and funders with shared values in building Entrepreneurial Development solutions.

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Do you want to join UVU Accelerate as a partner to develop entrepreneurs and build the tech ecosystem?


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