By SIBABALWE TAME
Committed to socio-economic development, the Assumption Development Centre (ADC) partnered with Socionext, a social innovation, entrepreneurship, and skills development programme, to host a five-day workshop in Joza. The workshop taught young entrepreneurs how to start businesses with little to no capital.
Following the workshop, four businesses emerged and presented on 4 November 2022. Various guest speakers were at the seminar, including the Department of Social Development representatives Siphosethu Jadu, Chris Engelbrecht, and Sizo Media business owner Sipho Zono.
Five-day entrepreneurial training
Socionext offers a five-day accelerated workshop that teaches people how to conceive, start and sustain a business.
Socionext facilitator Babalo Xozwa said that the training aimed to ensure that the businesses were up and running and money was made in the same week as the training.
He said the programme started with idea generation because most people who want to be in business don’t know how to start. “This is where we come in; we say these are the ways and methods you can use,” Xozwa said.
He said a person could start a business without much money. “Start with whatever you have,” he said.
Four businesses came out of the workshop:
- The Awesome 5 Cleaning Services;
- Bahluthise Bakery; and
- Masicoceke Laundry Services.
The Awesome 5 Cleaning Services
Five young and hard-working run the Awesome 5 Cleaning Services, which provides households with cleaning services. They came up with the idea of home cleaning services because most people in Makhanda work long hours and do not have time to clean their houses. Moreover, they believe in hygiene.
The company is looking to render services to schools, clinics, domestic households and small companies in the community.
During their testing process, they cleaned two houses in Extension 4, where they made R240 profit. They also went to various companies where they left their contact details. Since the start of their business, they have received two more cleaning jobs in Vukani Location. They aim to get at least one client a day.
They also said that they need water, detergents, mops, brooms and cloth for their business to function. They hope they will get this equipment soon.
They also hope to open a Facebook page for exposure to increase their revenue.
You can contact them using the following number: 060 391 1956
‘Cleanliness is close to godliness’ is their motto.
Carwash On-The-Go provides mobile carwash services. They believe in cleanliness and want a clean society! The carwash is unique in that it is not necessary for the customer to go to the actual carwash, but it brings its services to the client. They have noticed that car owners don’t have enough time to wait in long queues at the car wash as it’s time-consuming; however, with Carwash-On-The-Go, it takes between 20 to 30 minutes to wash each car.
While their services require water, the group acknowledged Makhanda’s water issues, so they opted to use rainwater. Water use also helps their pricing and affordability as they do not need to worry about a water bill.
“Our services are affordable,” said group member Unathi Mkalipi.
The prices for different categories of cars are:
- Standard car = R90
- Bakkie = R120
- Quantum or similar car = R150
The group members added that their target market is car owners, police and companies.
For the business to function, they need water, clothes, buckets, soap, and brushes, and they aim to wash as many cars as possible to get this equipment.
To test their services, they made a prototype for two clients who were very happy with their service.
Carwash-On-The-Go has a Facebook Page where clients can get in touch with them. Use the following link to connect to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100087599102804
The Bahluthise Bakery is a local bakery in Joza. They sell different baked products such as muffins, scones and bread. The Bahluthise Bakery delivers bread every day to other places in the community.
Their delivery services are free, and their prices are also affordable.
The reason behind the business idea is that they saw that people were hungry on their way to work or school, as they did not have enough time to make breakfast. Their main customers are schools, locals and clinics.
They need a stove, water, and electricity for their business to function. They noted that they could use alternatives if they don’t have electricity.
To test their product, they gave people samples to taste. They aim to sell at least 30 muffins a day which cost R5 each, making R150 a day.
Masicoceke Laundry Services
Masicoceke Laundry Services is a business that provides laundry services. The idea of opening the laundry service company came about when they saw that people work long hours during the day and also on weekends and struggle to find time to do their laundry.
“We do your laundry when you don’t have time to do it yourself,” said one group member.
They also added that they do pick-ups and same-day delivery, and ironing is optional (it can be accessible based on their unique items).
For their business to function, they need washing powder, water and an iron. They also tested if their business would work and made R210 in one day.
Feedback from the audience
During the presentation ceremony, audience members gave feedback by highlighting some of each project’s strengths and the challenges they may face going forward. One of the main challenges faced by all the groups is water since Makhanda is a water-scarce area.
Chris Engelbrecht from the Department of Social Development proposed a solution for the water problem is for local businesses to work together rather than work against each other, as there is a business that produces waterless cleaning products in Makhanda.
To echo Engelbrecht’s sentiments, guest speaker and Sizo Media production company owner Sipho Zono said, “Money must exchange hands.”
Englebrecht further highlighted that businesses must adhere to rules and regulations, which may involve many stakeholders.
FizingZar’s Kholiswa Mqotyana suggested that businesses market their products for distribution and visibility. Doing so will increase their client base.
Sizo Media production company owner Sipho Zono spoke on his journey where he saw a gap in the market following the Covid-19 lockdown period. He found that there was no media company in Makhanda and lockdown had forced people to be online. He then invested in live-streaming equipment at the time. Eventually, He opened his own media production company, which speaks to how a company may evolve and one must always look for opportunities.