Young and old start farming co-ops

Village Market Thuo Nala partnered with AIF to conduct training for 12 people who formed three co-op businesses, Foody Goody, Senzele Events Company and Cosmic Perfumes.

Another KPMG-funded programme delivered in Winterveld saw AIF partnering with the Village Market Thuo Nala Mentorship Programme to conduct ‘Give yourself a job’ training to 12 of their mentees.

The mentees were recruited from the surrounding informal settlements and townships and are made up of young and old motivated individuals. The facilitator noted that the older participants showed higher levels of motivation during this programme.

The training consisted of personal development, theory and practical sessions. Although the Thuo Nala mentorship focuses on agriculture, during the practical sessions, the following co-op businesses were formed:

  1. Foody Goody has four members and sells snacks, sweets and nuts. Their start-up capital was R400, with each member contributing R100 towards the business.
  2. Senzele Events Company has five members. It aimed at organising a small and quick modelling event in the community – a first of its kind in the area. If this event is a success, then the idea will be grown, and each member will contribute R100 towards the R500 starting capital.
  3. Cosmic Perfumes has five members that buy and sells perfumes. The starting capital was R500, and each member contributed R100 towards it.

A strong focus was placed on costing and pricing, keeping financial records and marketing activities. All businesses showed a profit by the end of the programme with a few challenges that were discussed and overcome.

The participants went on a field trip to a local farmers market, which allowed them to experience this working environment first-hand.

All participants graduated at the end of the programme. All participants engaged in one-off business activities during the programmes.

All participants have continued operating since graduation, despite the effects of COVID-19. Some of the participants have been so successful that they have not only sold their harvests to their community but have also been able to donate their harvests to schools in the area.

We are grateful to KPMG for their support for this project and for assisting us in growing South Africa’s economy by empowering people in townships and rural areas.

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