Proud graduates

Empowering female township entrepreneurs

The Gauteng Township Retail Enterprise Development Programme for Women celebrated 61 women who recently completed the programme. This programme has seen skills such as business management for microenterprises, one-on-one mentorship sessions and capital support take centre stage.

At the ceremony, hosted at the Protea Hotel by Marriott in Johannesburg, the women from the townships of Soweto, Tembisa and Mamelodi were presented with certificates for successfully completing the programme. 

The Gauteng Township Retail Enterprise Development Programme for Women was established in 2017 and was funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. The objective of the programme is to empower township female entrepreneurs who are involved in the township retail industry.

Sixty-one women completed the Gauteng Township Retail Enterprise Development programme

The programme was designed to make an impact on the lives of the participants. It was divided into segments: training sessions on basic business management for microenterprises, one-on-one mentorship sessions and capital support. The participants were exposed to various scenarios during training sessions. This enabled them to unpack the material and understand the retail industry and implement the knowledge they gained.

To ensure the participants were guided through the programme, one-on-one mentor sessions were held. This promoted individual interaction between the mentor and participants to address the unique challenges faced by township retail businesses.  

Pumulani Ncube, an executive at Beehive Capital, who facilitated the programme, said: “Having such opportunities to impart skills in order to grow the township economy is vital. These skills will be used to grow businesses and to help identify other revenue streams that these women can exploit to grow their revenue.”

The programme gave capital support by providing business tools such as tablets, airtime vending machines, South African Revenue Services (Sars) compliance and card swiping machines, and stock worth R10 000.

Spotong had the opportunity to chat to one of the recipients, Sibongile Rakgatjane, owner of Mo’s Bakery & Coffee Bar, who won R40 000, a Curro tender and a R10 000 Makro voucher.

What knowledge have you gained from the programme and how has it assisted you in your small business?

I gained and learnt so much! Each session concentrated on a different aspect of running an SME. I used to overlook things like marketing, my spending and customer service but the programme taught me their importance and I learnt how to manage and incorporate them into the everyday running of my business. I also realised that ALL businesses are the same, we all start small and face the same problems but with perseverance and knowledge, we will succeed.

Have you seen any significant changes in your business since completing the programme?

Yes. My marketing is coming along nicely so I am attracting more customers.  I am also able to track my finances and have a much better idea of how much money I put into my business so it can become more profitable. I am able to streamline everything and am enjoying running my business in a better way.

What was the highlight of the programme for you?

Winning! The highlight was definitely pitching for the Curro school tuckshop service in Mamelodi and winning that tender! I now have an extra revenue stream and am looking forward to that experience where I can use my baking skills.

What did you do with your winnings?

I used the R40 000 to buy a fridge for my shop, which I desperately needed, as well as paying a few business debts. The R10 000 Makro voucher that I received went directly to buying the stock that I needed in the store, such as flour, eggs and baking items and that made a huge difference.

About Beehive Capital

Beehive Capital designs, implements, monitors and evaluates enterprise and supplier development programmes (ESD) for the public and private sector in South Africa. The four steps of designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating are most effective when implemented sequentially, however, we have and can execute each of the steps independent of each other. We pride ourselves in implementing Enterprise and Supplier Development Programmes that change people’s lives!