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Enterprise Development in Hammarsdale

Enterprise Development in Hammarsdale

Two early success stories from the initiative are the Owethu Umqhele Cooperative Sewing Initiative and the Moonlight Bakery Cooperative, both born out of the DO MORE FOUNDATION’s Street Business School in 2019. Owethu Umqhele Cooperative Sewing Initiative is made up of a diverse group of 13 youth from Hammarsdale, most of them previously unemployed. Eleven are women and two are men who were recruited from E Deaf. They were assisted in registering as a cooperative in order to access formal markets and other business opportunities, and were provided a start-up grant through the DO MORE FOUNDATION which they used to fund 10 industrial sewing machines, training, storage equipment and rental subsidy until December 2019. The business has since taken off with great speed, producing a range of handcrafted items including the iconic DoMoreBags, which are made using repurposed branding material and sold via the DO MORE FOUNDATION’s online shop and our own staff shops. The cooperative has also supplied bags to a chain of curio shops in China, provided bags for local and overseas conferences and created 2 000 pencil case bags for RCL FOODS. To diversify their product offering, they are now also sewing for a local brand called Ekamu (www.ekamu.co.za). During this reporting period, sewing has generated an income of approximately R158  000 from DO MORE FOUNDATION sales and R13 000 from private sales, which have impacted an average of three people in a household. Another success story is the five-member Moonlight Bakery Cooperative. Using funds provided by a local corporate via the DO MORE FOUNDATION, they set up an industrial bakery which was soon supplying baked goods to a local petrol station, tuck shops, 37 ECD centres and the general public. Before the lockdown, the bakery was achieving average weekly sales of R5 000 and paying all its own overhead and running expenses, including renting premises. The business unfortunately had to close its doors during the lockdown, but the team continues to be mentored and hopes to restart soon. The Enterprise Development initiative has been noticed by a number of non-profit organisations, corporates and government departments, to the extent that it has been requested to document the models and processes unfolding in Hammarsdale as a pilot for rolling out similar partnership projects across the country.