“If you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. -Lao Tsu, an ancient Chinese philosopher.
Facts are facts and according to Stats SA 2017, over 30.4 million people in South Africa are living in poverty, with half of South Africans living below the upper-bound poverty line. In the Eastern Cape alone we claim the highest share of poor residents at a 72.9%. However even in light of these harsh statistics there is reason for hope, hope that starts with every man willing to make a small contribution to make a difference.
Stats SA 2017 highlighted that there is an “undeniable relationship between poverty and education.” So how can we use this relationship link to better our economy? At the heart of The Hope Factory mandate is the impactful change we create through uplifting South African individuals through skills development. Over the past 18 years we have developed more than 1500 individuals and nearly 700 businesses with the skills, knowledge and support needed to become effective as a business person and for starting their own business.
In 2018 we have completed another 12-month training and mentoring socio-economic development flagship programme. Of the beneficiaries, 80% of the beneficiaries were youth and 60% were woman. Our goal was to reduce inequality and create job opportunities towards elevating poverty. A positive 95% of the beneficiaries indicated that the programme was helpful in improving their quality of life. Futhermore 80% of the beneficiaries indicated that their ability to meet their family’s basic needs improved since joining the programme in April 2018.
The importance of training and skills transfer has been highlighted to us a Non-Profit Company in the development space. It is vital for small business sustainability. “Education has the potential to eradicate poverty and minimise the impact of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.” – Statistician-General Pali Lehohla, Poverty Trends report in 2017. With an emphasis put on education, we place high value on skills transfer through our accredited New Venture Creation (NVC) short Skills Programme.
When asked in what way has the NVC Programme helped her start-up business develop Caryn Smith says, “The skills learnt were helpful in every way, I see it as a new born child – when I started on the programme it was like I just “gave birth” to my new venture but then with the help of The Hope Factory I was able to mother this venture and groom it into its “crawling” phase and later into its “walking” phase.” Caryn was trading informally when she joined the programme and what the advice from her mentor we registered her business.
In addition to the statistics above we have assisted 9 of the beneficiaries to register their businesses formally. These individuals were empowered with the skills and abilities to now operate their own small businesses. In addition more than a dozen of the beneficiaries were exposed to media opportunities throughout the year on both BayFM 107.9 and BayTV DSTV channel 260.
We stand proud of the accomplishments of our beneficiaries and look forward to formally graduating them off the programme in March of this year.
In 2019 we will continue to leverage community impact through training personal, business and financial skills to informal traders as well as those with a passion to start businesses. Senior Business Development manager Jolandi Snyders says, “Greater socio-economic impact in communities through small business growth can be achieved with a collective approached and combined strengths and resources. The B-BBEE codes, through Socio-Economic Development contributions (as part of Corporate Social Investment strategy) can therefore provide a platform for the private sector to make a positive impact to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life for unemployed South African citizens.”
Together we can make a difference to better the lives of those around us. Let’s continue to mobilize economic growth for socio-economic impact!