Marcia Motsamai, Soweto shop-owner, walked away with a R30 000 price award from the Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards where she was declared a winner.
Sponsored by the global financial services giant Citi, the micro-entrepreneurship awards aim to celebrate and promote the effective role that micro-finance plays in poverty alleviation around the world. In particular, the programme seeks to generate recognition for the extraordinary and positive contributions that individual entrepreneurs make to their families and communities.
“Marcia embodies the true spirit real enterprise development and what it means to meaningfully contribute to local communities. Marcia’s efforts to run her business, develop her community and create a few jobs; whole-heartedly deserve this recognition,” said Donna Oosthuyse Managing Director and Chief Country Officer for Citi South Africa. “Marcia is an example to us all, and we congratulate her.”
Motsamai received a cheque for R30 000 which she will use to procure equipment for her business. Along with running a fruit and vegetable store “The Mac Fruit & Veg”, she also provides fruit and vegetables to a project that runs a feeding scheme in the community.
She started her business in 2009 with a small loan from Ndiza Finance, and it has grown since day-one. Although the rising food prices have presented challenges, Marcia’s store is well-situated near two schools and a local taxi rank.
In addition, five category winners each received R10 000. They are:
1. Artisan: Emly Mashishi;
2. Eco-friendly: Betty Kgomo;
3. Rural Development: Florah Ndalafane;
4. Skills Development: Florah Ledwaba; and
5. Women Empowerment: Marcia Motsamai.
“We hope that these winners will set an example for more South Africans to become micro-entrepreneurs. Direct job creation and economic development can be achieved through small business such as micro-entrepreneurs,” Oosthuyse added.
Three loan officers were also awarded cash prizes. Luisa Mamabolo (Small Enterprise Foundation), Petunia Ramakoni (Tiisha) and Hellen Madlanato (Tiisha) received R1 000, R2 000 and R3 000 respectively.
· Winner: Category – Artisan: Emly Mashishi
Emly Mashishi is a dressmaker from Mokopane. She started her business in 1991 with four sewing machines, and today she owns nine machines and employs two people. Emly makes dresses, bags and hats for her surrounding villages. Emly hopes to grow her business by building a training centre for women in her community.
- Winner: Category – Eco-friendly: Betty Kgomo
Betty Kgomo is the founder of Kgomo manufacturing, a bricks and crafts business in Mokopane. Betty opened her business in 1997 and after working from her home for a number of years, eventually moved to business premises. Not only has she grown her business over the last 15 years, but her workforce too. Betty started with just one employee, and now employs four people. Her eco-friendly business empowers and educates the local community about recycling. Her wish is to purchase a machine for paper manufacturing so that she can produce recycled products.
- Winner: Category – Rural Development: Florah Ndalafane
Florah Ndalafane is the owner of Marathameng Trading, a poultry farming business in XXX. A relatively young business, Florah started her business in 2011 with 300 chickens and now has a stock of over 400 chickens and four employees. Not only does she sell her chickens to the local villagers in her area, but also to other chicken sellers and retailers. Florah works hard to make sure all her chickens stay healthy, and separates the young chicken from the adult ones to give them the space to grow. She also donates chickens to local orphanages or funerals when she can.
- Winner: Category – Skills Development: Florah Ledwaba
Florah Ledwaba, from Mokopane, started Seshula Creche in 2004 with three children now looks after 78 children! Her well-run business has also grown in size, from just one building when she started to three buildings now. Her business is funded by school fees, and a small quarterly contribution from social development funds from the government. Even though times are tough and sometimes parents don’t pay their school fees; she still welcomes the children to crèche each morning and helps the parents where she can. Florah and her team of five work closely with the local social workers to address any physical or psychological changes in the children.
- Winner: Overall & Category – Women Empowerment: Marcia Motsamai
Marcia runs a fruit and vegetable store “The Mac Fruit & Veg” she also provides fruit and vegetables to a community project that runs a feeding scheme in the community. She started her business in 2009 with a small loan from Ndiza Finance, and has grown since day-one. Although the rising food prices have presented challenges, Marcia’s store is well-situated near two schools and a local taxi rank. She hopes to grow her business with new cooling equipment, and utensils to prepare meals.