By ASIVE NGXOWENI
One by one, audience members picked up a book, flipped the pages and started reading the first page their eyes landed on. This exercise aims to get people to read to engage with the community development workshop hosted by Rhodes University Social Innovation Hub and Fixing Zar at The Black Power Station.
This collaborative effort was to help community members build their business profiles and help them create sustainable businesses in Makhanda.
“The workshop’s purpose was to talk about innovating and creating businesses that could change the people’s circumstances in and around Makhanda so that they can make a better living for themselves,” said Mr Xolile Madinda, owner and manager of The Black Power Station.
What is FixingZAR about?
According to FixingZA founder Kholiswa Mqotyana, the company is an inclusive growth platform that helps clients prosper by providing compliance, consulting and advisory services. They also have a mobile app, Biza Thina, that helps with local SME visibility.
The company also helps other SMEs to plan by starting small and practising meditation and self-motivation. FixingZAR secretary Khanyisa Mqotyana added that small businesses should read for progress and learn how to generate income for the company.
Mqotyana added that after the workshop, individuals should be able to start their businesses. He identified the following ways to start a business in the Makhanda community:
- identify stokvel groups;
- identify market operations, and
- know the pricing to generate income.
FixingZAR’s three values
- They should supply each house in the community with study materials or books because they believe that each household has someone who has the skills to create something.
- They believe every household has an income-generating capacity, whether from SASSA or a job. The economy grows by 2 things – skills and income and through this knowledge, FixingZAR aims to teach households how to become sustainable.
- Each person should define their ideas and vision for the future.
Time and planning
Another key element of creating a business is time and planning. According to FixingZAR secretary Khanyisa Mqotyana, in order for a business to create an identity in Makhanda, they need time.
FixingZAR founder Kholiswa Mqotyana added that time and planning are very important and that trying to fix the country, as their motto, Silungisa iCountry, suggests, needs careful planning. In addition collaborative relationships within the community, local businesses and local institutions so that there is sustainability.
Suggestions on how Makanda can grow
Audience members were asked how Makhanda can grow and they believe job creation is the solution. One audience member suggested that starting a soup kitchen would benefit her community. While a fashion designer a project where people donate clothes and food can empower individuals. A third audience member suggested that the community also need to support people and their businesses.
Rhode University Community Engagement representative Thandi Matyobeni elaborated on pitching ideas.
She said that one has to know about their business, where it exists and the target audience for that business before pitching ideas. This means that research is very important so that businesses can get potential investors.
Matyobeni added that one needs to present themselves and not just their ideas and therefore it’s important to tell a story.
In order to create an income, one needs to do the following:
- have financial planning;
- identify their financial state or circumstances;
- be realistic about financial problems;
- have a basic plan and know expenses, which should be less than one’s income.
The role of FixingZAR in Makana is to create businesses and increase employment in the community. See: https://www.fixingzar.co.za/