Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) in the Free State recently partnered with Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs (Destea) to provide free business training to 110 female informal traders from the QwaQwa area.
The training, which was held last week as part of activities to celebrate Women’s Month, brought together women selling their wares in different parts of the eastern Free State town, with the aim of equipping them with new skills for business.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, CCBSA is committed to giving back to communities in which we operate by uplifting residents through different programmes,” CCBSA Public Affairs and Communications Manager Pinky Lebitso in a statement.
The Department of Community services in the Municipality identified female hawkers from Setsing, Phuthaditjaba who were operating from Naledi Mall, Savemore – Charles Mopeli as well as the QwaQwa industrial area.
“We are focusing on up-skilling South African informal traders who include tuck-shop owners and hawkers as they play a big role in the South African economy and the revitalisation of our townships. This is mainly through the free one-day business training, aptly called “Grow My Business” which is offered to informal traders,” she added.
According to CCBSA, small business owners face challenges such as financial and equipment support, increasing competition, skills shortage and an unsustainable business model. It said it is therefore important that the private businesses and government come up with initiatives that will help improve how these informal businesses operate.
Lebitso noted that the business is fully behind assisting these hawkers through providing bulk-buying discounts in order to maximise the profit potential for their businesses.
“The commitment to empower and uplift more South African informal traders continues, as we offer this business training in all the areas that we operate. We encourage small business owners to take advantage of this opportunity and approach their nearest CCBSA offices for more information on this empowering initiative,” explained Lebitso.
The women also received Coca-Cola branded sun-hats, aprons, cooler boxes and umbrellas which will assist in their day-to-day activities in running their businesses.