Main aim of the charity
The main aim of the cause is to attend to the high unemployment rates in the country and improve the quality of life for as many Basotho as possible. We do this by supporting entrepreneurs to expand their businesses focusing more specifically on people who are disenfranchised by their socioeconomic background. The reality is many people have brilliant businesses/business ideas but are limited by educational background, language barriers, geographic location etc. from realizing the full potential of their businesses.
We identify such entrepreneurs and use our different skillsets within the collective to refine and grow their businesses for optimum service delivery and profitability. We also often liaise with people from outside our collective such as business owners, lecturers, corporate executives etc. leveraging our network to connect the entrepreneurs with mentors, sponsors and more.
How the employee got involved and why
This initiative was inspired by a conversation I had with my hair-stylist who was expressing her financial frustrations to me during a hair consultation. In this conversation I realized that she had ventured into her salon business out of necessity but with no background in business at all. This meant she was making a lot of avoidable mistakes and unable to source knowledge and inspiration to imagine a more profitable and thriving business.
I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship which has been fortified by my background in business management as well as my CIMA (Accounting) qualification. I intuitively started making suggestions as to how she could improve the running of her business as well as brainstorming other business ideas. This process gave me so much fulfilment, I found myself completely immersed in helping her change the structure of her salon business. By having an “appointments only” policy for her salon wherein she would sometimes be at the salon all day with no customers, she freed up much of her time and was able to start a new business; selling homemade fat-cakes at the industrial area 10 minutes from her salon. I also helped her expand the business by organizing samples for companies such that people could place lunch time food orders. By showing her the financial benefits of bulk purchases and researching the most affordable wholesale she was able to increase profits and efficiency.
I realized early this year when COVID 19 forced us into a lockdown, that this was a way I could give back that aligned very strongly with my passion for entrepreneurship and my values rooted in the African ideology of Botho (interconnectedness and always serving the collective). I reached out to friends and colleagues who also reached out to friends and we decided to create this collective and pay our privilege forward. Since then, we have helped over 10 people either kick start, manage or expand their businesses.
What work does the employee do for charity?
I support a financial literacy and empowerment program for entrepreneurs who come from low socio-economic backgrounds. I am one of the founding members and I volunteer my time, expertise and resources to grow small businesses using my background in business management, accounting and personal entrepreneurial experience.