Hermanus Siyakha was publicly launched in the middle of March. To date (fourteen weeks) we are delighted to have been able to disburse R 54000 in small loans to 10 projects and one grant of R4000. There has been a tremendous response to our request for loans, and we are in the process of assessing a number of new projects which we will be showcasing on the website shortly.
Achievements to date:
18001 Nolungile (Beauty) Loan R6000 disbursed February 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
18002 Makuhle Projects Loan R6000 disbursed January 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19001 Nolubabalo Nqgoyiyana Loan R4000 disbursed March 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19002 Trevor Nkoyi Donation R4000 disbursed March 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19003 Bongiwe Maku Loan R2000 disbursed April 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19004 Simphiwe Ngqoyiyana Loan R10000 disbursed April 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19005 Novangeli Ncomasa Loan R1500 disbursed April 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19006 Olwethu Petros Loan R6000 disbursed May 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19007 Lulama Kamana Loan R6000 disbursed in June 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19008 William Chiwara Loan R9500 disbursed in July 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
19009 Evas Mugumbate Loan R3000 disbursed in June 2019 kindly click on the applicants name to get the details of this enterprise
It is not appropriate to provide in-depth feedback on each business on this website. Comments from our mentors however indicate significant progress on several fronts:
Report on feedback from Mentors of Hermanus Siyakha’s first four projects
Establishing rapport, trust and confidence; at the outset the mentors set out to establish rapport and trust between themselves and their assigned business owners. The mentors have reported that this has been achieved but it is a work in progress. They have also reported that the confidence levels of the business owners has improved significantly.
Recognition that the micro businesses operate in difficult circumstances: business owners frequently report the need to attend family events, mainly funerals, in the Eastern Cape which places enormous pressure on their finances as well as time away from their businesses. Despite repeated guidance from mentors to separate personal and business finances these business owners are unable to implement this due to cash flow constraints. As a result one business owner is one month in arrears with her loan repayment and more such occurrences will no doubt happen.
Micro businesses selling food (chicken and pork) experience seasonal as well as monthly fluctuations in demand and this is something that has to be properly planned for.
Mentors have also identified several challenges facing business owners as being deep and varied e.g. communication skills, financial literacy, lack of working capital and planning.
Mentor interventions have changed business owners perceptions and product diversification is taking place; business owners are now assessing their products for profitability and adjusting their product offering accordingly. Businesses (projects 18001 and 18002) are diversifying (e.g. product range now includes Russian sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers). Food is also now being offered in cooked as well as raw form.
The vegetable gardening project (19002) is busy adjusting his product offering to include kale and micro herbs to better serve the demand at the Saturday organic market.
The one clothes business (project 19003) has added “morning shoes” to her range of dresses.
Sales have increased; business owners have reported a general increase in turnover. One example, the mentor of project 19003 reports that: “The loan from Hermanus Siyakha has enabled the business owner to double her orders and therefore sales as well.”
The times of being open for business has increased; business owners are adjusting their trading hours to better suit their customers e.g. project 18001 trades after church on Sundays with her cooked food offerings.
Putting in place basic record and bookkeeping practices; a number of businesses have implemented very basic record keeping e.g. order books, records related to money “in” and money “out”, cash books.
Meetings, agendas and records of decisions; Masikuhle Projects (project 18002) consists of a group of ladies working together, they now meet more frequently and have a meeting agenda and keep a record of decisions made.
Roles and responsibilities are clearer; the roles and responsibilities of each of the ladies in the Masikuhle Project has been identified and specified.
Infrastructure is more attractive to customers; the mentor of the spaza shop owner (project 19001) has assisted in painting out the shop, putting in shelving and a counter as well as branding and advertising.
Perceptions of mentors themselves are changing; here are a couple of quotes from mentors;
“I have benefited mostly by gaining a greater understanding of how environment, social norms and cultural responsibilities impact daily life in Zwehlihle. Although the cultural setting of my own upbringing is different I can identify with the anxieties they experience in providing for their daily needs”.
“I would say that the benefit to me has been more cultural than anything else as I have seen first-hand how the “other half” lives at close quarters”.
“The sincere sense of community, unselfish sharing and humility have been the biggest revelation to me”
“These business owners just keep on trying and they have such open hearts to their community. I get frustrated with them now and again but then I realize that they think differently about some things. In many ways they are better than me and that’s a challenge. We never stop learning”.
“I’m fascinated by her insights into her business world. Her understanding of her environment, her use of social media and close relationship with her customers are a great example any business owner should be pleased to emulate”.