LENDER Nedbank says its ‘Together, Beke le Beke’ initiative will see micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, many of whom were hardest hit by the pandemic and the unrest that impacted parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, receive support in the form of funding, mentorship, and guidance on essential business skills.
Buli Ndlovu, the executive head of marketing, Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, said: “Most South Africans that have lost their jobs and suffered the harsh impact of the economic crisis have been women, particularly those in the grassroots informal sector and given that the informal sector accounts for 11.25 percent of total employment in the country, and plays an important role in providing employment to those who cannot find work. The Together initiative will focus on supporting at least 50 percent female micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
As part of the Together, Beke le Beke initiative, Nedbank is partnering with programmes to:
The Informal Traders Support Programme – a partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, who are making once-off grants of R40million, available to informal traders whose businesses were looted or vandalised in the July unrest to restart their businesses, refurbish infrastructure and restock supplies.
Proud of My Town – a Nedbank-funded holistic community transformation initiative in partnership with urban planning social enterprise, Ranyaka Community Transformation, is currently implementing a relief and recovery intervention to assist businesses to get back on their feet.
Assistance ranges from the restocking of shops and structural repairs to the on-boarding of a selection of small business owners onto the Proud of My Town Building Business programme, which will offer longer term capacity-building, mentorship and support. The interventions will also include repair and beautification projects in selected business areas hard hit by the unrest.
The Side Hustle - a daily grant and skills development programme to help aspiring entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition, in partnership with The Slow Fund, founded and run by Nic Haralambous.