March 2023.

A recent vehicle hand over/donation has given Keaoleboga Lerumo, owner of a local Kimberley-based micro sewing business, another reason to smile.

Othie & Angie Holdings, a youth-owned company that produces school uniforms for local schools, first received funding for machinery and business equipment, in 2021 as part of an Economic Development collaboration programme, aimed to support start-ups. This infrastructure support, was provided along with business mentorship and training, and now this final intervention means that the business can expand even further.

“The machinery, mentoring and financial support to purchase material has meant that I’ve been able to grow into a more sustainable company and make profits. So now, with this vehicle I can service my growing client base,” commented Keaoleboga Lerumo, owner of the small business and beneficiary of Droogfontein Solar Power’s enterprise development programme.

The programme partnership includes the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Droogfontein Solar Power.

“Small businesses contribute significantly to our economy and employment and are most vulnerable to economic fluctuations,” explained Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Specialist for Droogfontein Solar Power.

The programme has helped close the gap in start-ups being able to become sustainable businesses that can thrive, expand and employ more staff, which will help to drive local economic development that is more robust.

Each of the participating partners play a key role in this journey, from providing start-up funding in the induction phase to mentorship, development funding, loans and equity share.