A grant funding partnership between a West Coast based civil society organisation, Mfesane NPC, and government’s poverty eradication entity, National Development Agency (NDA) has established 10 mobile beauty start-up businesses for 10 youth entrepreneurs within the Saldanha Bay and Bergriver Municipalities in the Western Cape.
The Job Creation Programme, entirely facilitated by Mfesane NPC, received a R156 817, 54 grant from the NDA to provide human resources and business management workshops. The funds were also used to purchase fully equipped start-up kits for the 10 dynamic hairdressers and nail technicians.
“Statistics continue to show us that youth unemployment numbers are extremely high throughout the country. It is against this backdrop that the NDA supports economic development and job creation opportunities for the youth sector so that they can improve their own livelihoods and of the communities they reside in. The funding also makes provision for a dedicated Project Manager. Overall, this programme will improve the livelihoods of about 50 people, being the participants and their dependents,” says Mrs Thamo Mzobe, Chief Executive Officer of the NDA.
The recruitment process included identifying the skilled candidates through the Mfesane NPC Velddrif and Saldanha Bay Youth Café databases of skilled and unemployed candidates who were selected through an interview process with business and beauty experts. Each candidate completed a skills audit to identify strengths and gaps as well as personal development training needs. The 10 entrepreneurs have now completed the training programmes and will at the end of July 2021 officially receive their start up kits to begin the mobile businesses.
“The process has been rewarding for all of us, the Mfesane NPC training and mentorship programme empowers our youth entrepreneurs, as much as possible, to be able to actively grow their business, participate in the economy and become role models to their peers. We have signed partnership agreements and will mentor and coach them until they are more confident,” Mfesane NPC CEO, Mrs Yolandi Afrika.
Many of the candidates are already established with an existing client base in their communities of Velddrif, Laingville and Vredenburg. The locally sourced start-up kits will only propel their businesses to ensure that they have all they need to provide full services to their clients.
“My experience with Mfesane has been amazing – helpful and eye opening. The experience made me seek more value in myself and my business. I have been able to broaden my thinking with my business and am now equipped with the necessary skills. I am already an established natural hair stylist but the lessons and equipment will allow me to offer more services to my clients,” Camoren Titus, owner of Natural Queen Mobile Salon.
Through Mfesane, the candidates completed a vigorous training programme since May 2021 that included refresher workshops and courses in basic leadership and entrepreneurship, bookkeeping, business registration and compliance, mobile literacy, marketing and job readiness. The entrepreneurs have each established their signature brands and individually designed their own logos, business cards and sign boards. They will market their services using digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The entrepreneur candidates will also complete a
6-week hairdressing course from the Image Exact Hairdressing and Beauty Academy, which they will co-fund themselves as a way to also invest in their businesses. They will also benefit from Image Exacts Entrepreneurial Development Program that offers mentorship, best practice and networking opportunities.
“We are pleased that through this partnership, we have established a network with businesses in the West Coast to ensure the success of the Job Creation Programme, namely Image Exact, Mare Engineering and Services, West Coast College, SEDA and mostly Mfesane for allowing the NDA to unlock the potential of these entrepreneurs and the Cape’s West Coast region. We hope to replicate to model and grow the scope of this nature of support in future,” NDA CEO, Mrs Mzobe.
Mfesane Youth Cafés provide access to skills and personal development training, economic and social development opportunities, and creative spaces where young people are able to express themselves at a local and global scale. The programme provides support, services, and opportunities for the youth that are not in employment, education or training (NEET), and are between 14 – 25 years of age. The Youth Café’s focus is on skills training and job placement. Skills training programmes include wood work, beautician and nail care, basic computer training, basic graphic design, printing and design, digital skills and customer care training. In addition, youth are provided with basic life skills training including leadership, job readiness, entrepreneurship (Give yourself a Job) and career guidance.
Mfesane and the entrepreneurs, will soon launch a Spa Café, which will host spa days for vulnerable persons, marketing and income generation programmes in various communities in the West Coast.