Entrepreneurs Residency

This is non financial Pre-StartUp capital in the context of innovation support programme -  strategic support for young creative and cultural entrepreneurs to turn their creative vision or business ideas into thriving new enterprises in line with the National Development Plan’s goal of small business creating 90% of jobs by 2030. The programme intends to develop, promote and improve the culture of entrepreneurship among young Africans - to enable them establish sustainable, scalable businesses, and attract funding. According to the The Small Business Institute SBI report, 2018/2019, small businesses continue to be as economically fragile as they were over two decades ago, with some 70% of emerging small businesses failing within their first two years of operation.



  • Small businesses that are running but haven’t yet started raking in revenue, struggle to raise funds and fail


  • Banks do not back companies without collateral. Even where bank support is obtainable, the interest rate is often unaffordable for young businesses


  • Since the business models at a Pre-StartUp stage are often unproven, investors also hesitate.


  • Most of the existing established support opportunities are targeted at those already up and running (StartUp stage) often for a specific period of time, and with a specific turn-over.


  • Along with government economic empowerment programmes and grants, the established private sector support programs for start-ups and entrepreneurs in SA require individuals to exhibit entrepreneurial track record, and outstanding leadership skills -requirements majority of young aspiring entrepreneurs have never had a chance to exercise.


  • Unfortunately, most young and aspiring entrepreneurs’ ideas never even take-off the ground. They die at the conception period because of lack of support to grow them 

Why the The Project Space programme


At TPS we are positioned to be the foundation or platform for young and aspiring creative and cultural entrepreneurs to grow their creative ideas and entrepreneurial skills. We’re primarily set up to take the risks associated with supporting young, unproven ideas that we can help articulate and transform into potentially great products for scalable and sustainable businesses.

We understand it’s not wise to establish a company without ever executing a pre-startup. Pre-startups give confidence and their success attracts support. One learns how to make things and how to sell them on a safe scale, without wasting much time and money. We are positioning our programme to target the Idea and Pre-startUp stages. We understand this stage is as important as the second stage (StartUp stage) because many things in the second stage depend exactly on the Idea and Pre-startUp stages; data and market research, product development, planning, designing, experimenting, changing, etc.

We intend and aim to help nurture and develop these entrepreneurial prospects and their ideas together with us as a partnership/team  -to position them for qualification for available established financial and other support systems in the market locally and internationally


What we offer

  • -Free fast internet access 24/7

  • -Free office work space

  • -Free accommodation; based on demonstrated need

  • -Free mentorship with periodic invited entrepreneurs, and business experts

  • -Peer to peer support - shared problem solving

  • Sponsored travel opportunities; conferences or workshops for makers, entrepreneurs, and creatives with specific focus on business planning, finance management, business strategy, marketing, selling, etc

  • Depending on the kind of idea or nature of business, TPS may help source initial capital infusion for short-term working capital needs of the business or facilitate its establishment. This could be either from within the TPS or externally or both.

  • Access to established partnership support programmes outside TPS as; Raizcorp, Shanduka Black Umbrellas, The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa, Tholoana Enterprise Programme, Total Enterprise Development Programme, etc

  • Capital Campaign Readiness Assessment

TPS Entrepreneurship Residency  - Founding Key Lessons

-Great ideas require good articulation and execution to succeed,

- Fundraising often takes much longer than planned,

-Ups and downs are a fact that will continue forever,

-Good hiring practices a must for success

-Effective payroll and finance management are a must

-Good leadership and interpersonal skills a must


The Entrepreneurs Residency

The programme comprise of three components; The Idea and Pre-StartUp stage, The Existence stage and the Survival stage. Each phase is approached differently but will have access to shared spaces and offices where they will be able to interact and feed off each other, creating an informal learning, and mentorship. This residency opportunity is open to any potential entrepreneurs or creative team regardless of race, gender, color, religion, or national origin as long as the business operation is based in Africa, most particularly SA.

The Idea & Pre-StartUp Stage

This is a TPS fully-sponsored Call for profit creative business ideas or projects in their earliest phase of development. Applications will be open to creative for-profit business concepts or ideas from South Africa and Africa. TPS will take on a single potentially great idea or project every 2 or 3 years.

Applications for Ideas & Pre-StartUp stage that meet the following criteria in our assessment will be invited for a residency:

  • Innovative business idea/s that are disruptive and lead to new ideas

  • Potential for bold social impact

  • Concepts/ businesses that are solution based

  • Relevance of concept/ business

  • Purpose and passion; what is the drive for the business and individual success

Existence Phase Businesses;

We accept applications from teams of creative entrepreneurs that are already working on their business ideas but are in need of basic strategic support, either as subsidized or highly affordable office rental space, 24/7 fast internet access, and other resources beneficial to the success of their business, such as working in a community of like-minded individuals/teams.

Opportunities will be awarded on a competitive merit-based basis to the most promising creative projects - preferably for 6 months, subject to renewal for another 6 months based on the impression of their progress.

  • This support can go up to 2 or 3 years.

  • Creative projects that can’t afford subsidized office rental will be encouraged to propose to trade skills that contribute to the advancement of the TPS in exchange - this will be an application requirement.

Survival Phase Pre-StartUps

We encourage and invite small-sized Pre-StartUps that are up and running but struggling and threatening to close down to knock on our door for possible partnership assessment -to rethink and redesign their business models in return for a specified shareholding stake of the company if we succeed in transforming it into a viable enterprise. As a part shareholder we are invested in the success of each entrepreneur


The TPS Animation programme is a sub-project of our Digital Lab programming. It is crafted to aid artists and business practitioners to develop new approaches to their practice. This is an introductory programme into the fundamentals of 2D and stop frame animation which will tackle the basics of animation from sketching, moulding, photography, 2D animation and editing. As project participants will be involved in creative, practical and business aspects of animation - we believe this will encourage them to think and approach their practice in unique and adaptable ways.


NB; All our sponsored Entrepreneur and Artist Residents, must undertake an introduction to basic principles of animation and practical sessions for the duration of their residency; 20 hrs a month, or 5hrs a week or 1hr everyday.

  • Disney drawing/ 2D drawing animation  

  • Character design  

  • Stop Motion

  • Storyboard Art




  • Creativity and imagination.

  • Patience and attention to detail.

  • Communication and presentation skills

  • Ability to meet deadlines and work as part of a team

  • Drawing skills.

  • Computer literacy and familiarity with graphics software.

  • Basic Video and sound editing skills

  • Stimulate or inspire new directions in their work

  • Marketing and brand content creation

  • Ability to combine creative and business processes