Barloworld is uplifting rural communities through mentoring and coaching, grants and loans as well as emotional capacity building and support.
Barloworld for the betterment of all
South Africa is confronted with extremely high unemployment rates and people who live in rural areas are all the more so marginalised and underserved. Social enterprises that can create jobs where few prospects exist, provide a unique opportunity to shift the socio-economic outlook of rural environments, delivering skills, and creating the value chain that supports more resilient and self-sufficient communities.
Barloworld’s Mbewu program is designed to do just that. With an emphasis on incubating social entrepreneurs operating in rural landscapes, the program places a significant emphasis on both environmental stewardship and social impact, whilst at the same time driving growth, scalability and sustainable revenue models of predominantly women-owned enterprises.
SAINC got to meet some of these remarkable women and to see how their business operate on the ground.
Lerato Motale started Zekhala Charcoal to create a business that would not only serve her needs but to create opportunities where there previously were none. Black Wattle is a water thirsty invasive alien that causes significant issues for the ecosystems in which it is found. Clearing it, provides the perfect resources for the high-grade charcoal Lerato produces; the quality of which speaks for itself as her business continues to expand and create jobs, as she works to keep up with the ever-growing demand.
From trees to bees, enterprises that make a positive impact on people and planet are making their mark and Lesego Holzapfel of Bokomoso Impact Investment is no exception. With over 600 beehives manufactured and distributed, young community members are reaping the dividends of bringing the honey from their hives to the rural facility where it is processed into its beautiful craft packaging for sale across the country and further afield.
Mbewu means seed and the program focus on holistically nurturing these seeds to grow and flourish, through incubation, mentoring and coaching, grants and loans as well as emotional capacity building and support needed to create the optimal ground for long term impact and success.
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