#BuyWearEat

LOCAL

PROJECT PROPOSAL

CONTENTS

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Background

The statistics on the struggles that are faced by micro and small enterprises will not be available until it is too late to do anything for Nelson Mandela Bay – Port Elizabeth, Dispatch and Uitenhage.  What we know for sure in South Africa is that total employment decreased by 671 000 (-6,6%) year-on-year between June 2019 and June 2020 and that the basic salary/wages also decreased by R52,9 billion or -8,1% (StatsSA, 2020). Furthermore, we know that NMB has 6 967 formal enterprises with total formal employment of 291 659.  Of these businesses, micro-enterprises (0-10 employees) make up 4585 (66%), and they constitute 5% of total formal employment proportion; Small businesses (11-50 employees) make up 1781 (26%) including 11% of total formal employment. 

The entire informal SMME sector in NMB is estimated at around 48 380 enterprises which constitute 14% of the total proportion of employment. This figure contrasts the 83 058 (24%) of SMMEs and the 208 602 (61%) of the Medium-to-Large Enterprises in the Metro. 

Even in the first quarter of 2019, the economy-wide employment had dropped by 0,4% but, during the same period, 4,4% more SMMEs were established. This could signify that the unemployed are pushed to establishing businesses for livelihood and out of desperation, as opposed to pre-identified trading opportunities. This reality should be worse considering the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns that marked the end of the first quarter until the end of the year in 2020. In the second quarter of 2020, 671 000 jobs were lost (-6,6%) and counting. 

The SMME sector provides around 10,8 million jobs in South Africa, but 2,5million jobs are the company owners (13%), the remaining 8,3 million jobs (77%) are jobs created for job seekers.  This means that not all jobs are the same; some jobs create jobs; whereas, other jobs are more to accomplish particular tasks within the small companies.  This distinction is important to refocus our efforts to assist the job creators for them to provide more opportunities for job seekers. According to the StatsSA 1st QLFS (2019), 70% of SMMEs are owned by people between the ages of 30-54 years old. This age range allows for a more targeted entrepreneurial intervention to optimise job creation, as opposed just to provide entrepreneurial support in a blanket approach. Discrimination is not in itself wrong, but unfair discrimination is to be discouraged. But this 30-54-year-old focus is a matter of strategy to revitalise the current ailing local economy by utilising the statistics and research that available to decision-makers.  

Without being too empiricist about factors that affect the current economic status of micro and small enterprises in NMB and SA as a whole; there is too much evidence on the lived experiences of those who lost their jobs as well as those we are yet to find one. Most of these people are queuing at dawn, several hundred of meters, waiting for the Department of Labour to open, as Ashraf Adam correctly narrates.  To attempt to solve this crisis without targeting job creators - and not just big business - will be perpetuating the state of poverty and unemployment in Nelson Mandela Bay. Bearing in mind that this Metro is the economic powerhouse of the Eastern Cape This is the reason why we see it necessary for a campaign that will support the work of micro and small enterprises in the City, and hopefully, it will spread far and wide in due time.

 

Aims & Objectives

In light of the state, as mentioned above of economic affairs in NMBM, there is a need to conduct a deliberate and thoughtful campaign to achieve the following:

 

Improve confidence in the local SMME industry, both formal and informal

Encourage buyers to support local entrepreneurs 

Stimulate employment, especially in the small and micro-enterprises. 

Raise spending awareness and consciousness during the festive season

Highlight various kinds of businesses with a high potential to employ more job seekers.

The Nelson Mandela Region has become more arid and bone-dry for those who are in business such that, even this campaign could be a lifeline for the participating stakeholders if it is executed well.  It is essential to give this task to this formation and allow for space where we begin to raise social conscience with regards to spending. 
 

 

Support Local Hustle

There comes a time when people have to ask themselves where and how do they spend their money, and what economies do they subsequently enrich with such spending patterns. If every Rand that is earned by local people could be traced for two weeks after it was received, what would be the general hand exchange patterns that could be drawn? What do people do with the money that they earn or receive?

 
These questions would make an excellent research study for economic entities that wish to be more informed about the kind of inhabitants who stay in NMB. The Roundtable would is keen to lead this research with the support of the local authorities.  

 

Shifting the Buying Culture

It is not the time to stand out as individuals. It is time to stand up and stand in a formation with the rest of our peers whose next sustenance might only come if we buy from each other and save our hustle.  It might have been stylish and admirable to buy, eat and wear foreign products, but this hour calls for a little sense of patriotism and support for one another. Just for the next few months, let there be a sacrifice for self and more regard for the collective. There will be some inconveniences along the way, but there will be more lessons learnt and improved products at the end of the experience. 
If the big business, private and public institutions could buy from local suppliers and entrepreneurs, they would bring back much confidence to the struggling informal or micro-enterprise. Do not withhold support from a creative or a struggling business if it is within your means to do so. Local companies need sales and capital to succeed and improve their product quality and service. As much as local entrepreneurs need to improve their offering to the customers continually, this requires time and empathy.  That is part of the process of creating innovative, sustainable and excellent businesses.

 

Shifting the Buying Culture

A few ideas where local consumer spending patterns can be tested are:
- Black Friday
- Christmas and New Year clothes
- Biscuits and other consumables 
- Night club dress-codes on every weekend (at least one item bought from local designers/tailors)
- Buying art pieces from local artists
- Using local delivery services 
- Year-end gifts
- Purchase music from local artists (iTunes, etc.)

 

Although the targets of the campaign might vary, the one biggest target is how the already earned monies are spent from now on.  In the short term, locals could be encouraged to Buy, Eat and Wear locally produced products for two days of each of the remaining weeks of 2020.  The main question for the campaign is:
“What does it mean to support local?”


The question will be broken down into relevant statements and prompts to populate the social media space, print media and the local television & radio stations with the same idea. This is a way to prime local citizens to use their resources and boost the local economy. 

 

Other Ideas and Approaches

Firstly, there is a need to showcase the locally produced quality product that has the potential to scale. Secondly, it must be ascertained how promoting the selected service or product guarantees more hands to be employed. Lastly, a plan should be made for entrepreneurs to reach new markets for their offering. 
It remains a challenge to track the success of this campaign, but a relevant survey tool could be created and used to analyse business performance after the campaigns. Surveys on the perceptions and views on the campaign by focusing on the seller and the buyers could give a good sense.  The key indicator of success might only be traced by how rapid NMB economic growth improves in relations to other metros, in particular, the Buffalo City Metro. 
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has created a useful card – ‘The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass – Your passport to discovering the local's best kept secrets’.  This Pass can be extended to include some vouchers that can be redeemed at selected local enterprises and can be later exchanged for money or more services.  This is about stretching the lifecycle of every Rand within the local ecosystem in whatever shape or form. 

 

Marketing and Advocacy

The execution, marketing and promotion of this campaign are most important to the Roundtable because of its available skills set and experience. A marketing and promotional plan will be presented separately and in due course. Below are some of the possible stakeholders and platforms that would make this project a success.

Budget

 

The budget will be made available to interested stakeholders.  

 

Concluding Remarks

Firstly, there is a need to showcase the locally produced quality product that has the potential to scale. Secondly, it must be ascertained how promoting the selected service or product guarantees more hands to be employed. Lastly, a plan should be made for entrepreneurs to reach new markets for their offering. 
It remains a challenge to track the success of this campaign, but a relevant survey tool could be created and used to analyse business performance after the campaigns. Surveys on the perceptions and views on the campaign by focusing on the seller and the buyers could give a good sense.  The key indicator of success might only be traced by how rapid NMB economic growth improves in relations to other metros, in particular, the Buffalo City Metro. 
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has created a useful card – ‘The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass – Your passport to discovering the local's best kept secrets’.  This Pass can be extended to include some vouchers that can be redeemed at selected local enterprises and can be later exchanged for money or more services.  This is about stretching the lifecycle of every Rand within the local ecosystem in whatever shape or form. 

Shoud you be interested or have any questions, please contact Olwam Mnqwazi via the buttons below

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About Roundtable Social Enterprise

Roundtable Social Enterprise is a Socio-Economic Interest Group consisting of various stakeholders within the private and public spheres. We endeavour to bring about meaningful socio-economic change through impactful projects.

 

Our membership currently consists of:

  • Olwam Mnqwazi - Founder and Managing Director of Black Hat Group

  • Siyanda Mxotwa - Founder and Chair of Ubomi Foundation

  • Siyabulela Zondani - Regional Manager of the NYDA

  • Unathi Sonti - Executive Director of Mjoli Connect and Chairperson of the Eastern Cape Maritime Business Chamber (ECMBC)

  • Ncedisa Goniwe - ECDC Regional Business Advisor

  • Qeren Fourie - Head of Marketing at Zion Collective

  • Varonique Philander - Founder and Managing Director of Chaya Legal

  • Sesethu Gqomo - Founder and Managing Director at SG Communications

  • Ncumisa Nodaka - Founder and Managing Director of Ncumisa Chartered Accountants and Auditors

  • Pedro Mzileni - PhD Candidate and Researcher, CriShet at Nelson Mandela University 

  • Thanduxolo Dayile Doda - CEO of Youth Network Group (Pty) Ltd

  • Godfrey S. Jacobs - Founder snd Managing Director of GSJ Foundation

  • Ntombovuyo Linda - Researcher at the Hub of Convergence, Nelson Mandela University

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