The Business Hub

In addition to promoting educational opportunities for the people of Masiphumelele, Masicorp has also provided ongoing business support to a number of entrepreneurs from the community. Examples include the long established Nonny’s Bakery and Nondeyebo Art, who now sell to tourists from their stall at the V&A Watershed.

20160526_133907In an attempt to formalize this part of our work and to increase the number of people that can be helped, we have established a Business Hub at our offices in the Chasmay Road campus. The Hub is staffed by a group of local business people who are volunteering their time and business expertise to help get new business ideas from the community up and running. Establishing a successful business is tough at the best of times, so the support offered from this initiative is likely to be critical to success on the ground.

The Business Hub meets formally every Wednesday, but potential entrepreneurs can call in to the offices any time to leave details of the business ideas they would like to be supported. The Hub can provide administrative support, access to IT services for existing businesses and can also match entrepreneurs with appropriate education programmes. We have contacts within the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), and can introduce community entrepreneurs to the support they provide.

Ndileka Biyo blog

Currently the Business Hub is talking to members of the community who have come forward with possible business ideas. We would like to talk to as many new entrepreneurs as possible and to discuss and assist with their business plans, marketing ideas and possibly even assist with loan funding where a strong potential for success is identified. The Hub volunteers can undertake SWOT analysis of new and existing businesses and help members of the community match their skills and services to those that are needed within the community.

BIYOAlongside support for new businesses we are also assisting existing businesses to grow with financial and administrative support. Many visitors to Masiphumelele will meet Ndileka Biyo and often purchase clothing from her Baby Shweshwe range. We recently helped Ndileka get her business online and have introduced her to many new selling opportunities at local markets. She has also received assistance in developing her new logo for Biyo Designs, which will cover her full range of products.

In addition Nonny has expanded her business to cater for tourists and other visitors to Masiphumelele, and she now provides delicious home cooked meals from her home. This has proven particularly popular with the visitors on AWOL Tours cycle tours of Masiphumelele. With a little help from the Business Hub team she is also considering the production of a cook book, to share her traditional recipes with a wider audience.

As we identify more local entrepreneurs and help to grow the existing businesses we support it is expected there will be many interesting stories to tell. Watch this space for more updates on this rapidly developing part of our work in the community.

Maintaining the New Ukhanyo School Running Track

The new sports court and sprint track are up and running at Ukhanyo School. If you missed the video of the first set of sprints on the new surface you can catch up with the action HERE.

trackTo ensure that the surface is kept in perfect condition the suppliers informed the school that a high-powered blower or mechanical sweeper should be used to remove abrasive sand and grit from the surface. In the dusty environment of the school’s sports area such maintenance would help extend the useful life of the new surface. This is not something that the school (or Masicorp) had access to so we would like to extend a big thank you to Tool Hire and Sales Solutions (Sun Valley) MD Marc De Rooy who stepped in to provide a suitable machine. After visiting the site to check what was needed, they were able to provide a top notch Stihl BG56 hand held re-chargeable leaf blower, which Stihl and Tool Hire and Sales Solutions are sponsoring.  Marc has also kindly offered to give Melvin the school caretaker a lesson in how to operate it.

Carol Hanks and Penny Ramahloko from Masicorp called in yesterday to collect the new leaf blower. Penny is seen here collecting the equipment from Leigh Ann Burger, marketing director at Tool Hire and Sales Solutions. Our thanks to everyone at Tool Hire and Sales Solutions and Stihl for their generosity and help with making sports provision at Ukhanyo School possible.

2penny & stihl

Tracksuits Distributed at Ukhanyo Primary School

Two years ago we began distributing tracksuits to learners at Ukhanyo School thanks to a generous donation from SOMB. The tracksuits have proved so popular that we have continued offering them to new pupils arriving at the school. With the winter now just around the corner we distributed the first set of new tracksuits at the school last week.

The tracksuits continue to be made at The Sewing Café in Masiphumelele; hence, this also supports a local business. They remain incredibly popular and you can be sure to see them worn by children all around the community during these colder months of the year.