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Empowering individuals to become financially independent ignites hope for SA

Igniting hope for a better future - at the heart of The Hope Factory is the impactful change created through entrepreneurial skills development of South African individuals. Discover how The Hope Factory is empowering individuals to become financially independent through the story of beneficiary Unathi Kolanisi.
Saica ED Unathi Kolanisi togther with a fellow SED programme individual, class of 2019.
Saica ED Unathi Kolanisi togther with a fellow SED programme individual, class of 2019.

“We are driven and passionate about creating a socio-economic impact on targeted township communities and individuals by developing informal traders to become established businesses,” says Jolandi Snyders, senior business development manager.

The core focus of The Hope Factory’s Socio-Economic Development (SED) mandate is skills development and mentorship to establish vital foundations for startups. The Qalisa programme 2019 is The Hope Factory’s current flagship Socio-Economic Development (SED) Programme that will run until April 2020. This is a training and mentorship programme to develop an individual’s ability to effectively establish their business.

Unathi Kolanisi, owner of Nati’s Food is currently a beneficiary of The Hope Factory’s Qalisa Programme, class of 2019/2020. Kolanisi owns an events and catering company operating in Port Elizabeth and East London. “We provide fully-equipped mobile food trucks even to the most remote areas. We don’t compromise quality for quantity,” says Kolanisi.

While being part of the SED programme at The Hope Factory she was given the confidence boost to enter the Engen Pitch & Polish competition. Kolanisi had to pitch her business to potential investors for funding. Pitch & Polish is an Idols-type competition in which contestants are given the opportunity to present their businesses or business ideas to an audience.

Kolanisi won the regional title to represent the Eastern Cape. Kolanisi says: “The competition was a great experience and the title brought a lot of exposure for my small business including media exposure.” She also adds: “A big thank you to The Hope Factory who gave me further opportunity to be a guest on their live Small Biz Talk show on Bayfm107.9 to tell my story and motivate other startups.”

Apart from a boost in personal leadership development, financial skills transfer is also a core focus area in the SED programme. Kolanisi indicated she had poor financial skills at the beginning of her programme journey, however, she now rates herself as ‘good’, a four-out-of-five score after the finance training. In addition, 79% of the 2019 SED class has indicated that their financial skills have improved because of the training received.

Furthermore, as part of her business growth, Nati’s food is now also trading as a franchise called Maid4u that formalises the sector of domestic workers, nannys, cleaners and home-based care workers whereby they recruit, screen, train and place and assist them with CCMA issues and register employees for UIF.

According to our 2018 statistics, 95% of our programme individuals indicated that the SED programme has been helpful in improving their quality of life. “Changing the standard of living for South Africans, their families and communities must remain a key focus within the development space and can be achieved by empowering individuals to become financially independent through income-generating opportunities. Sustainable economic growth, however, is only possible if the public, private and non-profit (development) sector collaborates their efforts through resource and implementation synergies,” says Jolandi Snyders, senior business development manager.

The Hope Factory finds itself in a very sound position to act upon its mandate of delivering community-driven initiatives in line with the objectives of socio-economic development. The future is bright for all the entrepreneurial individuals in our current programmes and projects. We thank our clients for their on-going support and look forward to new partnerships in 2020. Together we can mobilise economic activity for individuals and communities towards greater socio-economic impact as well as promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment.

Media contact: Kelly Sin Hidge


18 Mar 2020 16:13

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