In support of its commitment to growing the economy and creating jobs, Nedbank is funding a R3.4 million enterprise development initiative with Cape Town-based Fix Forward. The initiative is designed to develop the entrepreneurial skills of 100 tradespeople.
Fix Forward is a not-for-profit company that has been matching the skilled tradesmen from low-income areas, with homeowners and businesses undertaking renovation and construction projects since 2012.
The Nedbank funding will enable 100 tradespeople – 50 in Cape Town and 50 in Gauteng – registered as contractors within the Fix Forward network to take part in a 12-month entrepreneur development programme to equip them with the skills and experience necessary to run their own small businesses.
Joshua Cox, CEO of Fix Forward, says: “We’re delighted with Nedbank’s support of our initiative to set talented, skilled and hard-working tradesmen on a path to building successful businesses. We not only connect them with the market but also focus on giving them the know-how on how to run their own businesses, thus becoming self-sufficient.”
With South African unemployment at a 14-year high, Nirmala Reddy, Nedbank Senior Manager: Enterprise Development, commends the role played by Fix Forward in creating opportunities for hard-working individuals marginalised as a result of lack of resources, business acumen or contacts.
“Fix Forward introduces the industry to competitively priced, competent tradesmen, and is giving back to equip these individuals in establishing businesses of their own. As a bank for small business, it’s an initiative that matches our desire to grow the economy and create jobs through our own innovative solutions aimed at helping small entrepreneurs,” says Reddy.
Selected tradespeople meeting the Fix Forward screening requirements – to ensure high quality workmanship, integrity and reliability – are eligible to participate in the company’s year-long development programme, which incorporates e-learning, workshops and coaching. The content is industry specific and deals with various aspects of running a business from marketing and pricing to financial and project management.
Fix Forward currently operates in Cape Town but will be launching in Gauteng during the year. As such, it has been decided that half the funding will be set aside to support entrepreneurial development of 50 tradesmen in Gauteng, and 50 in the greater Cape Town area.
A call for builders, carpenters, tilers and plumbers…
“The demand for our tradesmen continues to grow in tandem with Fix Forward’s reputation for excellent service and reliable workmanship. This means we have a real need for specialist tradesmen – particularly builders, carpenters & cabinet-makers, tilers and pavers, and plumbers – to make applications to join our network,” says Cox.
“Successful applicants have the opportunity to benefit from the current development programme funding from Nedbank too.”