We recently commissioned a series of interviews with our business owners to determine to what extent we are achieving our objectives. Simply put, these are:
- To develop sustainable micro businesses in the Overstrand
- Grow entrepreneurship
- Build bridges between communities
Judging from the overall feedback received, we are grateful to say that we are on our way to achieving these objectives. Some enterprises are well out of the starting blocks and others are battling. There is no doubt that the economic circumstances surrounding businesses are tough and the winter season has made things particularly difficult. The tenacity of the owners and support of our mentors remain crucial to achieve success.
The results of the interviews with some of the loan recipients provide very helpful insights:
- HS’ financial assistance of a R6 000 interest-free loan in December 2018 enabled one of our recipients to buy a freezer which has enabled her to store stock in bulk. During the first few months her customer base, sales income and profits increased drastically.
- In March a recipient received R4 000 to purchase stock for her Spaza Shop. HS’s financial assistance has helped her to increase the depth and width of her stock range and thereby, to grow her business. Her shop’s income has increased by more than 20% and she is slowly decreasing her debtors’ book. She has improved her margins by purchasing products which are on ‘special’ and has even increased her sales prices to improve profitability.
- A grant of R4,000 was made to enable a recipient to obtain planter boxes, compost and other materials for his vegetable garden in Zwelihle. He is keen to share his knowledge and expertise with others so that they can grow their own vegetables.
- A recipient of a R2,000 loan in March used it to purchase stock for her women’s clothing business. Her number of customers has grown significantly and she says her sales have increased by 60%. Her profit line has also increased because she is able to purchase stock at good prices.
- In May a loan of R10 000 was made to a building contractor to purchase a bakkie for his construction business to transport his workers, building material and equipment. Subsequently his expenses have dropped by 15% because he does not have to hire transport any longer. He feels HS is helping the Zwelihle community “a lot” by aiding the growth of small businesses. He says, “there is hope”.
- A loan of R1,500 in May this year enabled the recipient to purchase stock for her beading business. As a result, her cash flow has improved, and she estimates that her profits have improved by at least 10%. She said HS is “so special because now people can know what to do even though the unemployment rate is too high. We really appreciate HS for the effort you have done for us.”