Friday 24 March, 11 entrepreneurs graduated from The Hope Factory’s Business Mentorship Programme. At The Hope Factory we believe that a future where entrepreneurs can thrive is a better future for everyone. “It is our passion to come alongside entrepreneurs to impact their businesses through holistic mentorship, imparting knowledge and various support tools”, says Ashley Murray, Programme Manager.
Graduation day is a celebration of the successes the entrepreneurs have achieved. In the words of one of our business mentors; it is essential to celebrate each small victory because each tiny step creates momentum in the pursuit of the greater vision. For each of the graduating entrepreneurs, a future awaits in which they will continue to grow and take steps towards increased growth in their businesses.
The Hope Factory Business Mentorship Programme covers development in three main areas namely leadership, business skills and financial excellence. “With The Hope Factory there is a personal touch and they give us hope to expect more growth to come. My product and the way that I offer it has changed, because of the growth in confidence. I now have focus and direction in my business”, explains Sandisiwe Kiti owner of Mayihlome Human Capital Solutions.
The core focus of our Programme is mentoring. Ashley says, “An entrepreneur without a mentor is like a business without a plan”. Through the transfer of wisdom, skill and knowledge, we have seen mentoring make a measurable difference in the development of small businesses.
Buyile Mtimkulu, owner of Busko’s Rim Repairs says “The Hope Factory helped me through the different stages of my business; my business mentors keep me motivated because I know they believe in me and it has helped me to keep going. Mosa Dikoba, owner of Citrus Green Solutions echoes this, saying, “The most beneficial aspect of business mentoring for me has been developing a new business strategy together with my business mentor. As a result, my business has experienced exponential growth”. Another graduate, Sakumzi Bambalaza owner of Limelite Cabs shares his experience of The Hope Factory Programme in stating “I received more than just information from The Hope Factory. I received a life-change. Dealing with professionals, makes you become more professional. I now have a new mind-set and new ways of doing things.”
Sponsored through Enterprise and Supplier Development contributions from the private sector, the Programme does not only grow entrepreneurs but creates opportunities for corporates to play a role in developing small businesses. Senator Robert F Kennedy said the following in a visit to South Africa, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance” (June 6 1966). At The Hope Factory every entrepreneur who graduates from the Programme is a tiny ripple of hope, that has the potential to not just change their current reality but play an active role in economic transformation. There is no greater reward than investing in the lives of others, and in our case, investing in the development of entrepreneurs.