Yamkela Mahlangeni and Nteseng Manana have been chosen to be part of 30 entrepreneurs who have been selected to participate in an SMME life-coaching development programme which started on the 1st of September and will run for a period of 12 months.
It will be run by Redefine Properties and implemented by Siwaju Consulting. The programme will include 18 days of contact time, 240 hours of business coaching and mentorship, and online learner management system that will host e-learning material and knowledge library for the participants to utilise throughout the period.
“It is critical that we continue to build the resilience of projects already being run in the communities and also make sure the SMMEs are capacitated to grow and prosper in a constrained economy. The programmes target people and projects where they can have the greatest economic and social impact,” said Redefine head of marketing and communications Marijke Coetzee.
The two Soweto-based entrepreneurs will be developing their informal enterprise’s thanks to the SMME life-coaching development programme. Inspired by his parents, Mahlangeni from Pimville, established Ciko Shoes enterprise in 2019. He makes the shoes with his own hands, in a corrugated-iron workshop in the back yard of his parents’ house.
“My parents were working for a footwear manufacturing company a long time ago and they also wanted to start their own shoe manufacturing company. They trained me at first. It all started with my parents,” said Mahlangeni.
He got additional shoe-making skills from an internship he did at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), Sebokeng campus, in 2015. Mahlangeni noted that he could make 10 pairs of shoes a day and it took him just two hours to make one pair. He supplies his shoes to schools, individuals and people who want to donate them.
“From this programme, you are equipped with tools on how to understand yourself; what you want to achieve, where you want to go; tools needed to run a company; and skills you can apply right away,” said the shoemaker. On the other hand, Manana is the owner of Adorn Underwear business and is based in Diepkloof. She has been in the underwear industry for five years now.
“I have always been interested in underwear. As a woman, you struggle to get proper, fitting underwear and sometimes underwear is just expensive. And talking from experience, whenever I go to the shops, they don’t have measurement tape to take your bra size. So informally, I decided to start selling underwear,” said Manana.
She added that the programme has really helped him personally.” It helps me know my vision, mission and goals for my business. I have also been assisted in developing myself like looking at my strengths, weaknesses and leadership skills,” she said.