The Ranyaka Building Business (RBB) programme, which is funded by the Nedbank Enterprise Development department and supported by the Nedbank Proud of my Town programme, recognises that a thriving local economy is a pivotal cornerstone of a thriving local community.

Although the RBB programme is elaborate with far-reaching impact, its mission is simple: to enable local inclusion for small growing businesses (SGBs) from under-resourced areas by increasing accessibility, providing training, and offering support.

To date, the fully-fledged RBB programme has benefited approximately 200 entrepreneurs in three provinces across South Africa, with broader business support in the form of Consumer Financial Education sessions spanning all 8 provinces where Ranyaka works.

When the Covid-19 pandemic brought business to a complete halt at the end of March 2020, many small local businesses found themselves in a very dire situation. The decision was made to allocate the year’s resources to the implementation of a curated, two-phase relief and recovery intervention for entrepreneurs in various Proud of my Town communities across the country – including Mamelodi.

The RBB focus for the year was shifted towards helping the affected small businesses keep afloat during lockdown while also recovering from the harsh, long-term impact of the pandemic.

Support for Mamelodi businesses
Programme participants from Mamelodi received business starter packs to help put their businesses on the map. These starter packs included logo design, the development of Google landing pages that would make it easier for potential customers to access important information about the business, one-on-one telephonic marketing training, and general training focussing on social media considerations and etiquette.

All the entrepreneurs that were selected for the mentorship programme in Mamelodi were also entered into a Social Enterprise competition that aimed to identify, inspire, equip and enable entrepreneurs to commence a positive entrepreneurial journey in their communities.

Given Maboela was announced the winner of the competition. His business, Flex Internet Café in Stoffel Park, improves the quality of life of local residents by actively addressing digital inequality. Given received additional IT equipment for his business and recently moved to a bigger premises that will make it easier for him to attract new customers and expand his business.

Other participants in the programme included Nkululeko Nkwanyama from HANA (Pty) Ltd, Gugu Makhubu, Founder of Vuguma Training and Services (Pty) Ltd, and local chef and baker, Gloria Mashigo. Gloria, together with Thulile Mbuyane, went on to feature in several programmes and campaigns including the Nedbank Beke le Beke campaign.

A new year
The 2022/2023 RBB programme in Mamelodi was launched mid-2022. At the launch event, 65 local entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to learn more about the programme and its benefits. This event served as an open invitation for attendees to apply for onboarding onto the RBB programme. As an outcome of this application process, 20 businesses were onboarded to receive in-depth business and compliance support alongside the opportunity to participate in free, business training sessions that are open to the broader Mamelodi business community and has benefited, to date, over 100 small businesses.

Pitch My Hustle
In September 2022, the RBB programme reached a significant milestone in Mamelodi when representatives from 113 small local businesses attended a Pitch My Hustle event with the purpose of sparking both innovation and creativity among attendees. The event was concluded with a prizegiving ceremony that saw three participants walk away with cash prizes while two businesses were chosen to be placed in a SEDA-managed business incubator that will provide them with additional support to further grow their businesses.

A highlight on the RBB calendar for the year will no doubt be the Mamelodi Street Festival scheduled for 25 November 2022.

The bigger picture
Mamelodi is one of 22 communities across South Africa where Ranyaka is implementing the Proud of my Town initiative. Building Business, which entails entrepreneurial support and enterprise development, is one of the key programmes that forms part of Ranyaka’s overarching community development framework.

Photos: Pixel Art Studio