LOCAL YOUTH SMMES SET UP TO MANUFACTURE MASKS
Boesmanland Green Enterprise is a 100% local youth-owned business in Loeriesfontein and one of three local small businesses that are being supported to provide masks for COVID, whilst offering local employment.
With some people having lost their jobs and income during the lockdown, Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farm wanted to provide SMMEs and people with sewing skills, the opportunity to earn an income. This forms part of the wind farms enterprise development programme, which includes a focus on COVID-19 relief support.
The three local SMMEs, namely DBM Businesses and Construction Services; RBB Enterprise; and Boesmanland Green Enterprise, successfully bid for the funding and business support in May. They are now receiving fabric to manufacture the masks, which Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farm will then purchase back to distribute within the local community, free of charge.
This support model means that not only do local companies receive a boost, but community members are supplied with masks, to help protect themselves during the pandemic.
“The economic benefits of supporting small businesses in a community are profound, in that they are great employment and income generators. By introducing a buy-back system, SMMEs are assured of a market for their goods. This sustainable model is further supported by the supply of materials,” explained Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm.
The businesses were selected on the basis of their compliance to the conditions attached to the Request for Proposals, which includes the manufactured quality of the finished product. All qualifying SMMEs were provided with a sample and they were requested to produce their own mask, exactly as the template.
“A key consideration for qualifying SMMEs was the provision of employment to community members of Loeriesfontein, ensuring that all the benefits remain local,” added Fredericks. Furthermore, the three successful applicants have also been encouraged to work together as a collective to make a success of the project.