LEA showcase home-grown businesses
The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) recently hosted members of the media on a two-day tour covering Bobonong, Molalatau and Selibe Phikwe.
The idea was to showcase some of the enterprises supported by LEA and to document their journeys to date.
SANCTIFIED DELIGHTS BAKERY
Nestled deep in Bobonong’s Dandane ward, with the Matshekge Hill looming large in the background, the bakery is famous for its fresh bread and fancy cakes.
Now in its third year of existence, the business has risen impressively since 29-year-old Botsile Moreba first set-up shop, baking pre-ordered cakes from home.
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Desperate to expand his business, Moreba approached the
Youth Development Fund (YDF), who backed the young entrepreneur to the tune of P97, 000.
The brilliant baker then sought the assistance of LEA, who helped Moreba write-up a detailed business plan, which he submitted to CEDA in 2018.
The agency’s response came back positive, along with a P700, 000 loan, spent on bigger, better equipment.
Part of LEA’s support included holding workshops at the bakery, training Moreba and his eight staff members on the importance of customer service, manufacturing practices and record keeping.
Sanctified Delights’ customer base consists of individuals, schools, tuck shops, Bobonong Cooperative as well as catering for private functions, such as weddings and parties.
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A loaf costs P6 while buns sell for P1 each. The enterprise has a daily capacity of 800 loaves, depending on orders and walk-in customers.
Open seven days a week, on average Moreba rakes in P75, 000 every month.
However, despite the impressive numbers, it is not all plain sailing.
“Some of the challenges are that we cannot get a bigger space where we can operate the business. Also the government pays us late even though we always submit invoices well in time. We agreed on a maximum period of two weeks but it does not happen that way!” grumbled Moreba, who inherited his love of cooking from his mother.
LIT-SHINE CHEMICAL SOLUTIONS PTY LTD
Based in Selibe Phikwe’s Industrial location, the company specialises in cleaning detergents, manufacturing a range of products, including: pine gel, dishwashing liquid, car and carpet shampoos, multi purpose cleaner and pool acid.
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The operation is the brainchild of 34-year-old Maiteko Morapetsane, a Geologist forced to find alternative income when the BCL mine closed in 2016.
After spotting a local advert seeking incubators to train in Toilet Roll Manufacturing, Morapetsane decided to try something similar, focusing on cleaning detergents.
At the start of 2018, the Semotswane native enrolled on a two-month training course run by LEA.
The courses covered included: Sales and Marketing, Business Plan Development and Business Formalisation (EDD).
LEA also ensured Morapetsane received valuable exposure at various Trade Shows and Buyer Seller seminars across the country.
By August of that year, Morapetsane received P99, 000 funding from the YDF, starting production in February 2019.
His market clientele is predominantly made up of guesthouses, lodges, schools and individuals.
Having celebrated its first anniversary this month, business is building slowly, with current monthly sales of P20, 000 compared to expenses of P14, 000.
As a micro-starter, LEA intends to help Morapetsane upgrade to a higher level, which in turn will mean he can add to his current staff contingent of two.
KOHITA INVESTMENT PTY LTD
Still in its infancy, Kohita Investment was founded by retired 50-year-old teacher, Hilary Koodirile, last November.
Situated in Selibe Phikwe, Bamangwato Industrial, the enterprise offers a range of cereals, such as: sorghum, lebelebele, korong and maize.
“My intention is to produce healthy food with fibre as there is a noticeable shortage of fibre-based foods. We produce Ntlatlawane, Lebelebele and Mosutlhane. I am targeting schools, hospitals, shops, prisons and individuals,” explained the former Food and Nutrition and Fashion and Fabrics teacher, who counts Palapye Technical College and Mahalapye Brigade amongst her previous employers.
As the organisation battles to gain a foothold in the market, Koodirile admits being a new company has its drawbacks, with shops buying her products at ‘very low prices’.
“They control our prices as manufactures and we end up just giving them because we do not have enough market!”
The company’s best sellers include: Bopi jwa Korong, with a 5kg bag selling for P60, maize meal at P45 for 5kg and chicken feed at P35 for 5kg.
TRUST RADIATOR CLINIC
50-year-old Ketaroma Moshe is an expert at repairing radiators and is successfully eeking out a living in what is stereotypically considered a male-dominated profession. Her ‘Radiator Clinic’ also specialises in refining brake shoes and pads, skimming cylinder heads and grinding valves.
Moshe started her business in July 2016, with LEA taking her under its wing the following year after she approached the Authority at the Selibe Phikwe Trade Show. Since then, Moshe has completed a number of LEA-run courses and holds certificates in Process Improvement, Technology Awareness, Occupational Health and Safety among others.
Based in Phikwe, where she is up against two similar enterprises, Moshe welcomes the competition.
“Sometimes we belittle ourselves as women but everything is driven by passion. When I started people thought I would not make it, especially after the BCL mine closed. However, it didn’t affect me too much as the mine did not bring much income into my business. Instead, it is local garages and individual customers who make my business to survive,” said Moshe, who completed her two-year Junior Certificate back in 1988.
She dreams of becoming the first manufacturer of brake shoes and pads in the area, items that are currently only produced in South Africa.