The majority of South African households are not yet able to benefit directly from South Africa’s economic advances. Most of these households are in rural and peri-urban settlements. Bringing this sector of the population into the mainstream economy will considerably enhance our growth potential as a country and as a company. As a guideline, we focus on the development of small and micro-enterprises in following areas:
- Agriculture – small scale commercial farming, agri-food processing and alleviation of food security and hunger
- Manufacturing – sustainable village industries such as bakeries and clothing manufacturing
- Environment – new innovative projects that protect and preserve the planet for future generations
“Don’t give a woman a fish. Teach her how to fish and teach her how to sell her fish …’”
This is the inspiring motto of The Clothing Bank, an innovative non-profit organisation with a passionate mission to empower unemployed single mothers through enterprise development so that they can become financially and socially independent. It was founded in 2010 in response to the high rate of unemployment among single mothers, which is further compounded by lack of maintenance support received from the fathers of their children.
The main focus of The Clothing Bank’s enterprise development initiative is to provide holistic life and business skills through a two-year programme that equips unemployed mothers to set up their own micro-enterprises.
The initiative is so successful that within just six weeks of joining the programme, women begin running their own small clothing trading businesses within their communities, and earn around R3 500 a month. With this money they are able to feed, clothe and educate their families, settle debts, start improving their lives and embrace a culture of independence and saving. Over the past three years The Clothing Bank has successfully trained 498 women who have collectively made a profit of over R15 million
Based in Observatory in Cape Town, The Clothing Bank serves townships and informal settlements within a 50km radius. They now have branches in Paarl and Johannesburg, with plans to launch a new site in Durban in 2015. Find out more about The Clothing Bank.