In a ground-breaking move for a sporting franchise in South Africa, the Sharks have announced the launch of, which will open free of charge, from Wednesday 5 May.
In a statement on their official website, the Sharks said the centre was built to aid graduates, small businesses and SMEs who face challenges in developing, growing and building their individual careers and brands.
Ahead of the launch, the Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee shed more light on the vision for the Business Centre: "The concept of The Sharks Business Centre was identified based on the challenges faced by our community. As its core fundamental, the aim of the business centre is to empower graduates and entrepreneurs by supplying high speed WiFi and facilities to connect like-minded individuals to market opportunities and it will evolve by providing skills development workshops with the long-term aim of acquiring funding for these businesses.
"The ultimate vision for those who participate is prosperity, so that they can find the experience a positive one that leverages opportunities and catapults them and their businesses to the next level of success."
To achieve these aims,will introduce programmes in a four-phased approach:
Phase 1 - The launch of Sharks Business with free-to-use office space, meeting rooms, board room, brainstorming room, WiFi, telephone and printing services.
Phase 2 - Skills development workshops will be introduced. These will be curated according to needs expressed by users of the business centre. These workshops will be conducted by in-house specialists and guest presenters.
Phase 3 - Mentorship programmes will be introduced where small business holders will be matched with appropriate mentors within their industry. Business growth strategy seminars conducted by external and internal expert consultants will also be initiated.
Phase 4 - Will identify appropriate funding partners to create a bridge that provides SME owners ease of access and assistance with funding applications.
Bookings for access to the Business Centre will be done via the Sharks website where graduates and SME's would need to register on an exclusive portal that been created for their convenience.
"Our community is at the forefront of everything we do at the Sharks and this is an exciting opportunity for us to contribute to the growth and development of these individuals, who we hope will go on to impact our society positively. We all must do our part in making our country prosper and this is our way of doing just that," added Coetzee.