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As we (Jan, Suresh, Emily & I) started our Social fellowship program, we started talking to the various businesses at the Sediba house to understand their challenges in running their own small businesses.

We are not hopeless”, “It is a matter of time to get there”, “No credit, I hate giving one to customers”, “I was scared initially and then later I made it” were some of the thought provoking remarks expressed by the Survival entrepreneurs who are operating out at the enterprise development house (Sediba).

The most striking observation was that there are 18 (out of 30) business houses run by women entrepreneurs are hosted at Sediba. Though most of them are currently in a self-employed state they have big dreams and aspirations which motivate them to go higher. There are variety of business run by them which includes Tailoring, Screen Printing, Clothing, Marketing, Nursery school, Restaurant, Beauty Salons etc., Most of them have come from non-business and lower economic background and have  started something on their own primarily to take care of their basic family requirements and livelihood.

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Fridah,

Zozo Bites

Regina curatins,

Regina Mokgokolo

Besdu Msiza,

Besdu clothing

Florence,

Upendo Nursery School

Ephesia Mathoge,

Bokamo Screen Printing

Though women in South Africa today have access to opportunities, rights and services that were a dream about 20 years ago, they still bear the burden of challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The women entrepreneurs here seem to have broken the jinx and have set a standing example of how one can be successful amidst all odds. Today some of them provide employment and   sustained livelihood to others who work for them.

They might not have the right business models and required skills to run and manage their daily business operations but they definitely have what it takes to stay afloat. The secret to this is their sheer hard work and commitment. A lot of them have two common things in mind which keeps them going – focus on the quality of their products and commitment to deliver on time. This art of doing business is something beats the odds due to their lack of business knowledge.

“Can someone help me to do basic book-keeping”, “I need to do some support on marketing my products”, “What do I need to access government grants”, “I need to build a business profile to applying for a business contract”, “I need to build a website for my business”,“ I go to a nearby market to check on the prices before I furnish my price list, Is it a right way ?” are some of the concern remarks coming from these women entrepreneurs as we speak to them. They all are focused to succeed in what they are doing best and geared up to beat the challenges that come in their way. We are certain that these questions are very valid and these will be addressed sooner through the Entreprise Development Program – Tekano, which we are proudly part of.

As we step out of the Sediba house, we experienced a sense of pride in the women entrepreneurs and a ray of glimmering hope that one day they will succeed running a sustainable business which they are dreaming about.

Some interesting posts at their offices:

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We (Emily, Jan, Suresh and I ) have been entrusted with an assignment of purpose, i.e. to support PEN’s Enterprise Development program “Tekanô” and assist in developing sustainable businesses by empowering budding entrepreneurs of CBD area. This blog is an experience sharing after speaking with the various entrepreneurs at the Enterprise Development center called “Sediba House”

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