The Hope Factory – Inspired by latest Mentorship Programme Graduates

JUNE 7, 2017
The Hope Factory – Inspired by latest Mentorship Programme Graduates

20 entrepreneurs from KZN and Gauteng graduated from The Hope Factory’s Targeted Business Mentorship Programme on Tuesday. The Hope Factory partnered with Transnet Pipelines (TPL) SOC to provide a specialised Enterprise and Supplier Development programme. What has been so unique about this mentorship programme is that it was aimed at empowering and enabling entrepreneurs with Disability, to develop personal and business skills to take their businesses to new heights.

This is the first time that The Hope Factory, a Nation Building entity at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has had the privilege of mentoring this sector, and it has been an incredible journey for all involved. “We have been inspired throughout the past year, at the strength, determination and tenacity that our entrepreneurs have shown. To watch them grow and develop their businesses as the SMME’s of tomorrow has been so inspirational.” says Programme Manager, Sipho Pilime.

The Programme covered development in three main areas namely personal leadership, business skills and financial excellence, while mentorship remained at the core. Through the transfer of wisdom, skill and knowledge, holistic mentoring has made a measurable difference in the development of these small businesses. Some of the business successes to name a few are:

-       Business 1 – substantial increase in sales per annum over the past year.  Three major clients acquired, and employee numbers increased from 2 to 12 (job creation)

-       Business 2 – excellent increase in sales and 1 major client required. Number of employees increased from 1 to 3

-       Business 3 – substantial increase in sales and a multi- million- rand tender awarded

-       Business 4 – substantial increase in sales, increase in employees from 1 to 4

-       Business 5 – awarded a large tender for supply of bread, along with a 3- year contract which is expected to create about 20 jobs.

Says Kitumetsi Ntombela, ED Specialist,“TPL as a division of Transnet, are proud to be at the forefront of ensuring radical economic transformation. We are proud to have partnered with The Hope Factory on this flagship initiative. It has been a fulfilling and rewarding journey for all parties concerned.

The advancement of physically challenged entrepreneurs from historically disadvantaged backgrounds including black youth and women, remains one of our critical mandates in ensuring job creation, eradication of poverty and the transfer of skills, particularly for these SMMEs who have faced numerous challenges in business growth and market opportunities.

By investing in such programmes, we as an organisation are rewarded with an increased pool of potential “quality” suppliers who have become highly competitive, are capable of providing goods and services to us and have the business “know how” to become a thriving business.

Through this particular initiative TPL, in conjunction with The Hope Factory, have empowered 20 SMMEs from the Gauteng and KZN region, all 100% black owned from rural and economically depressed communities. TPL is very proud of the milestones that our beneficiaries have achieved.

Graduation day is a celebration of the successes these entrepreneurs have achieved, and it is important to acknowledge how far each has come in their entrepreneurial journey; from Hope to Empowerment. As one of the entrepreneur, Stephen Sera, says “I would like to thank The Hope Factory for giving people with disability opportunity to showcase their ability in also helping to grow the country’s economy.”