Market day gives township businesses a boost

From left, are Mfuneko Delo, who runs Neko Design Studio; Zizipho Savara, who runs a make-up business; and Phumlani Mcako, who runs Nature’s Way Lifestyle.

Township entrepreneurs needing a bit of a boost in these tough times had a chance to promote their products and services at a market day last Friday.

The Kula Nawe Youth Foundation, a non-profit organisation supported by the provincial Department of Social Development, held the market at the Gugulethu civic hall to both encourage young people to start their own businesses and to expose entrepreneurs to markets.

Lulu Mtshozeni, the co-founder of Kula Nawe, said they wanted to motivate township businesspeople at a time when many were feeling disheartened and struggling to keep their doors open.

With rising unemployment in a weak economy, it was vital to promote entrepreneurship and encourage young people to start their own companies that could, in turn, create employment, she said.

“We want the entrepreneurship to grow because as they grow their businesses also grow. Your limitation is the amount of knowledge that you have.

“When you create such platforms for the small businesses, the first thing you have to do is instil belief amongst them. People are demotivated and you need to motivate them. This is the step into the right direction.

“There are people who are going to be millionaires in a few years to come who have started their businesses in this period. Patience and perseverance are the key. Build yourself and network with the right people,” she said.

It was high time, she added, that township businesses became producers of products and not simply buyers of them.

Entrepreneur Zizipho Sovara said she had started her make-up business in 2018 to earn extra cash, and she had used social media, including Facebook and Instagram, to market it.

Since then she has built up a steady client base.

“I’m now raising funds to build a room at home so that I could have some sort of a professional setting to do my business.

“I’m currently learning how to do nails, and I want to grow and acquire each and every skill that I might need to expand my business.”

Events like the market helped entrepreneurs network and expand their businesses, she said.