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Downes Murray International News

Self-employment: the journey out of poverty

South Africans are facing a crisis of unemployment, with 27% of people unable to get jobs. To tackle this, The Clothing Bank (TCB) has developed several programmes that provide disadvantaged people with self-employment opportunities. 

All TCB programmes provide beneficiaries with business, finance and life skills, backed up by intensive mentoring and coaching – to help them become successful and financially independent.

  1. TCB’s two-year enterprise development programme uses excess clothing donated by SA’s largest clothing retailers to provide unemployed mothers with the opportunity to become self- employed traders. TCB’s five branches support 800 women every year. Women buy and sell the donated clothing, with the goal of earning R4 000 per month.
  2. GROW with Educare Centres,  developed in partnership with The GROW Learning Company, provides quality early childhood education to underprivileged communities – and a sustainable business for the school’s owner. GROW renovates the school to the Department of Social Development’s standards, and provides the teachers with  necessary resources, training and monitoring to ensure a quality pre- school. 20 centres have been established teaching 700 children and creating 93 jobs.
  3. The Appliance Bank teaches unemployed men how to repair damaged household appliances, donated by retail partners, to sell in their communities. This new programme sustains 59 men who each earn an average of R5 000 per month.
  4. The Amazi Academy trains women to become qualified nail technicians. They are then employed by Amazi, a vibrant and affordable new chain of nail salons. Last year 91 unemployed women joined this programme, 85 qualified and 62 have been placed in formal employment.

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