August 2019

Vuyiswa Lucas, owner of Sebenza Projects, a fledgling SMME in De Aar, has set up business in her home town, with the vision to become the preferred supplier for school clothes in the Pixley Ka Seme District.

“My business is still in start-up phase but I know that it will do very well as I believe I’ll be able to meet the need for quality school wear, within my local communities,” enthused Vuyiswa Lucas.

Her enthusiasm is no doubt a result of the support that her small business is receiving from the De Aar Solar Power’s enterprise development funded programme, which aims to provide skills, mentoring, training and funding to local businesses, with a specific focus on women-owned community-based endeavours.

“Our support is aimed at encouraging sustainable enterprises, in under-resourced communities and we are confident that Vuyiswa’s tenacity along with her solid business plan and dedication, will go a long way to making this a successful enterprise, which once established, will provide local community employment opportunities, thereby further bolstering this community,” explained Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for De Aar Solar Power.

There is general consensus that to get ahead the South African economy needs more entrepreneurs to boost growth, foster innovation, and aid in job creation. And whilst government programmes supports this, the country needs the private sector to get behind the small businesses entrepreneur, especially in the rural landscape.

‘The National Development Plan looks to small and expanding businesses to create the majority of new jobs, so programmes like ours have the potential to affect real change in rural South Africa,” added Radebe.

Vuyiswa aims to provide good quality, affordable and readily available school clothes and has already secured her first order at a local De Aar secondary school. To sustain the business during the months that are off-peak periods for school clothes, she has secured a number of regular customers for general clothing items that are popular and not readily available in her community.

Once self-sustaining, Sebenza Projects will certainly be able to begin providing local jobs, which will further burgeon once the manufacturing needs expand.

“De Aar Solar Power’s Enterprise Development strategy is to assist and accelerate the sustainability of local enterprises by ploughing financial resources into the local area,” concluded Radebe.

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