Promoting Business Solutions in Poverty

Posted on July 3rd, 2014

Promoting business solutions in poverty

The newly-launched Youth Empowerment through Entrepreneurship Programme (YEEP) has announced its winners for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, where the programme was rolled out. The programme was implemented by TechnoServe, an international nonprofit that promotes SMMEs and business solutions  to poverty, in collaboration with the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW), whereby they provide seed capital to several youth-headed, vulnerable households for business start-ups.

Lucia Nthabiseng (pictured above) from Limpopo and Khongelani Mukhabela and Hlulani Chauke from Mpumalanga were chosen as the winners from 50 young adults. “YEEP aims to empower youth to create economic opportunities and promote individual and entrepreneurial excellence, reducing poverty and inequality and assisting young people in reaching an economically independent adulthood,” said YEEP in a statement.

The 50 candidates were all part of the Isibindi initiative of the NACCW, which aims to respond to the needs of children, youth and families who are vulnerable or at risk, including those affected by HIV/AIDS where children are orphaned, live in child-headed households or grandmother-headed households are entirely dependent on social grants.

The business of empowering other businesses

From MpumalangaMukhabela says their business, KCentre Business Enterprise, is an affordable internet café and printing business service, aimed at assisting local youth from high schools and colleges as well as business people and the larger rural community to gain internet access and connect them to rest of the world. “As most people setting up new business ventures are aware, location, is a key factor in running a successful business,” she says, adding that they located their business in the Bungeni (Njhakanjhaka) area between Makhado and Giyani in Limpopo province where there are few businesses like theirs

“We have plans to grow our business beyond just printing and internet access to incorporate a broader spectrum of computer needs such as computer classes and IT studies,” she says. The anticipated business growth will allow them to move out of the container where the business is housed to a building offering them more space and increase employment numbers and employment skills.

Food for thought

The Witbank winner Lucia Nthabiseng is the brain behind the concept of Tjhukutjhukuma, a fast food restaurant providing “quality meals at value for money”. To keep Tjhukutjhukuma unique in a saturated market, Nthabiseng has targeted local youth and encouraged them to bring their friends and families to savour her signature dipping sauces in a fun and energetic environment. Customers include local taxi drivers; mineworkers; students and busy home- makers.

“I use only local ingredients and offer various options for people who suffer from allergies and the more health conscious which will allow me to stand out from any competition. Deliveries of orders will also be on the menu,” she says. Hoping to support her family and friends, part of her dream is to start a franchise of her fast-food outlet and in doing so add value to her local community by creating job opportunities as well as a mentorship programme and catering service.