The Township Economy Programme Continues to Defy Mainstream Gender Roles:
30 Oct 2023
Last year, our Township Economy Programme's unwavering dedication to the economic development of young families yielded a remarkable achievement – placed 2nd in the empowering women in community category for our Township Economy programme.
Our Ready-to-Deliver entrepreneurship training programme, funded by Pepkor and trained through Niya Consulting, nurtures business acumen and confidence among young female entrepreneurs in Hammarsdale and Rustenburg. As Nontobeko Mtshali, a spirited beneficiary, expressed, "Since I joined the programme, I feel charged up, electrified, full of life and completely trusting of what's next." This initiative equips young women running small businesses in their community with practical business skills.
As part of our enterprise development basket of services, the overall aim is to strengthen the caregivers' ability to sustain their families and the communities they serve. These Small, Medium, and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) candidates gain invaluable knowledge to scale their enterprises sustainably, providing much-needed economic stability. As we look to the future, we plan to expand the programme to reach more caregivers. Nkomazi is our priority for 2024, where we hope to replicate the success we've achieved in Rustenburg and Hammarsdale.
Our Township Economy Programme's unwavering dedication to the economic development of young families
In the heart of Rustenburg and Hammarsdale, where the warmth of community knows no bounds, the Do More Foundation's Township Economy Programme has ignited a beacon of hope. Last year, we were the proud runner-ups of the coveted Gender Mainstream Award for 2023, an accolade that reflects our unwavering dedication to empowering caregivers and nurturing the local economy.
Our program is a lifeline for 40 caregivers who find themselves at the crossroads of nurturing young children and sustaining their families. The Ready-to-Deliver Entrepreneurship Training Program, regardless of their educational background or income level, equips these caregivers with practical business skills, fostering their confidence and enabling them to thrive.
As Nontobeko Mtshali, a vibrant program participant, shared, "Since I joined the program, I feel charged up, electrified, full of life, and completely trusting in what's next."
This initiative, launched in Hammarsdale in 2017, has grown exponentially, welcoming 20 new candidates each year. These Small, Medium, and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) candidates are armed with the knowledge to scale their businesses sustainably, thereby infusing much-needed economic stability into their communities.
Rustenburg, where the unemployment rate stands at a staggering 47.5%, urgently requires this program. As we launched in September 2022, the community welcomed us with open arms. The influx of new residential areas, both formal and informal, has provided fertile ground for entrepreneurial growth. The program selects 20 women under 35, caregivers of young children, and guides them through six months of in-class business and finance training. The final step is a pitch to funders, leading to financial support for the winning entrepreneur, under the watchful eye of Niya Consulting.
Vellie Gumede, another beneficiary, highlighted the incredible support system within the program, saying, "Meeting the amazing ladies we are with has encouraged me and given me a reason to fight for my dreams and my family."
This transformational journey is made possible through the generous support of Pepkor Speciality and Buckman, our key funding partners. Looking ahead, we plan to expand our impact, reaching beyond 40 caregivers each year. The Township Economy Programme is set to grow, extending its reach to other communities, with Nkomazi as our priority for 2024. Together, we'll continue to change lives, one caregiver at a time, fostering economic empowerment and community resilience.