MICRO ENTERPRISES RECEIVE FINANCIAL BOOST
Following a series of community engagements aimed at harnessing the community of Loeriesfontein’s potential to drive transformation, a cohort of thirteen micro businesses and social entities have received funding to support their goals as presented in their funding applications.
One of the beneficiaries, Hantam Chicks, has plans to grow into a sustainable poultry farming operation that can provide additional jobs in Loeriesfontein. “With the funding and support received, we are aiming to become a sustainable farm and a successful business. We also aim to create jobs for people in our community,” explained Sergio Van Rooyen, owner of Hantam Chicks.
Initiated and funded by Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms’ economic development programme, the project, aptly named #ChangeMakers, drew community change activists that were already working to improve the lives of their fellow residents and wanting to make a further positive difference.
All successful applicants were expected to attend business training courses, focused on financial and business management, as provided by the funders. The duration of the courses is one week each and aim to improve the beneficiaries’ ability to manage their business and finances professionally, which will ultimately increase the sustainability of micro entities in the town.
Businesses and community entities, applying for funding, are expected to meet certain requirements, which includes the necessary compliance documents. Additionally, the entity must have been active for at least three months; have a bank account; and most importantly a solid business plan illustrating the social or economic benefit for the broader community.
“The Asset Based Community Development approach we are taking to community development, is all about communities driving their own development – a bottom-up approach. Our role is to support the community’s vision and goals with the ultimate aim of sustainable development,” explained Vanessa Fredericks Economic Development Manager for Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm.
The wind farms have appointed a fund administrator to conduct the evaluations and recommendations on all applications. Their recommendations are reviewed internally for final approval, based on strength of application and budget availability.
The first round of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) grant recipients that received funding include: Khobab Wood Processors; Mr Phila, The Wood packer; SB se Snytjie; Royalty Photography; Ramblers Rugby Klub; Kellerman Catering Enterprise; Chef Yvette Catering and Evolve Gymnasium.
Research shows that citizen driven development offers an alternative to the conventional needs-based approach, founded on an understanding that sustainable development comes from within. Efforts are therefore more effective and longer lasting when community members dedicate their time and talents to creating the changes they desire.