The Hope Factory


About The Hope Factory

SAICA Enterprise Development

SAICA plays an active role in economic transformation in South Africa, through advancing the sustainable growth of entrepreneurial Black businesses. This is our collective vision for a more inclusive future. Developing Leadership skills, Business Skills and especially Financial Excellence in your Enterprise and Supplier Development programmes is our expertise. Enabling you to seamlessly broaden your supplier base by integrating quality SMMEs is our passion. We provide impactful B-BBEE Enterprise and Supplier Development solutions that fit with achieving your transformation objectives. Partner with us today in shaping the next generation of sustainable big business.

The Hope Factory

In an international partnership of significant import, a team of MBA students from the Duke University in the United Stated recently visited the The Hope Factory, a Port Elizabeth-based enterprise development initiative powered by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

The aim of the visit was to help the local operation to achieve greater financial stability.

After gaining valuable information on enterprise development in South Africa, Matt Nash, Duke’s Centre for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) managing director, who led the programme, will be returning in March 2010.

“This was an outstanding chance for our students to learn about enterprise development in South Africa,” says Nash. We were fortunate to have The Hope Factory as a partner in our Global Consulting Practicum. We look forward to returning to South Africa with students in March of 2010 to work with other social entrepreneurs and NGOs. We anticipate that this was just the beginning of our work in Southern Africa.”

Elizabeth Zambonini, project director for enterprise development at SAICA, says The Hope Factory and the team from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business had been working together since late last year following an approach by CASE, which was researching a list of enterprise development initiatives for inclusion in the Duke MBA Global Consulting Practicum.

A four-phased approach was implemented to reach the programme’s objectives:

  • Planning;
  • Analysis;
  • A field visit; and
  • Final development/recommendations.

The project’s objectives were to:

  • Analyse current donor information, fundraising campaigns and incentive structures to identify opportunities for increased funding and/or expansion of the donor base;
  • Assess the current distribution channels and market penetration, identifying opportunities for new channels and markets;
  • Identify and evaluate product and training offerings to best meet consumer needs; and
  • Recommend improvements and/or changes to current fundraising campaigns, donor incentives, product offering and distribution channels.

The six-person Duke MBA team spent two days in Port Elizabeth and eight days in Johannesburg and successfully accomplished all their objectives.

“While they were here, the group spent most of their time with the trainees, gaining hands-on experience. By doing this and interacting with our staff, they determined the achievability of stated objectives,” says Maurita Odendaal, The Hope Factory Centre Manager.

Zambonini adds: “The Duke team completed the final development phase, which fully defines the determined strategies and the overarching social impact goals. These include a proposed business model for generating sustainable revenue streams, and developing the roadmap for testing and launching such initiatives.”

She says that during this phase, the team also clarified the goals of the selected strategies, engaged in market research and planning, identified the required costs of implementation and operation, and estimated the financial and social impact of the recommendations.

“The opportunity to travel to the Hope Factory’s headquarters and to visit the operations was invaluable, ”commented Mark Braby, Group Leader of the team “, I listened to stories of transformation among those served, witnessed the dedication to their mission and the struggles to choose strategic paths for greater impact. The organisation became a part of each of us, and we became a part of their history as well.”

The SAICA-managed Hope Factory aims to develop, empower and inspire previously disadvantaged South Africans to become self-reliant and productive.
It acts as an employment-training programme that teaches small business skills primarily to women between the ages of 20 to 40 and fosters their application of these skills to become financially productive individuals.

The technical skills they learn on the 15-week training programme include sewing, pattern making, beadwork and other crafts.

Over 672 unemployed people have directly benefited from The Hope Factory’s job and wealth creation efforts. The concept has proven extremely succesful, surpassing Department of Labour employment placement standards, with 81% of all graduates still financially productive.  A customer base of more than 500 businesses accounts for revenues of some R1,5 million a year.

About The Hope Factory:

The Hope Factory is a project managed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).  This enterprise development initiative has been training and empowering unemployed women in Nelson Mandela Bay (encompassing Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch) since 2001.  Skills transferred to students during a 15-week training course includes sewing, pattern making, beadwork and other crafting skills, entrepreneurship and small business skills as well as  time management, CV writing and HIV/AIDS awareness.   The Hope Factory designs a wide range of beautiful, handmade corporate gifts and conference materials tailored to suit the corporate market.  All profits made from the sales of these products are reinvested in training more potential entrepreneurs.

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About Duke’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

A research and education center based at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) promotes the entrepreneurial pursuit of social impact through the thoughtful adaptation of business expertise.  Founded by Prof. J. Gregory Dees, widely recognized as the academic pioneer of the study of  social entrepreneurship, CASE develops and disseminates knowledge on the concept and process of social entrepreneurship, economic strategies for social impact, scaling social impact, social venture business models, corporate social entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial philanthropy.  The CASE website includes resources on these topics, as well as links to other helpful websites.  Finally, CASE provides courses, service-learning opportunities, speakers, career planning support, and financial aid for Duke MBA students, including scholarships for incoming students who intend to pursue careers in the social sector.

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