Building capacity in the SMME sector

Business Skills for South Africa

BSSA course pays off for sewing business

Egnes MamphotoAttending a business skills training course offered by BSSA has certainly paid off for a 48-year-old Limpopo entrepreneur who runs her own home-based sewing business. Egnes Mamphoto of Madombidzha Zone 2 near Makhado attended a five-day business planning course in Makhado as part of PwC's Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative in November 2011.

Egnes owns Egnes Clothing, which makes bed linen, comforters, school uniforms, chair covers and curtains. She and an employee work from her dining room table, fulfilling both large and small orders from businesses in the area.

The hardworking entrepreneur started her venture in 1991, obtaining financial assistance from her brother to buy a sewing machine and material. She has completed several courses offered by Government agencies and departments, but says attending the BSSA course has clarified many aspects of running a successful business.

"I now know how to draw up a business plan for Egnes Clothing. I previously did not know what factors to consider when setting prices for my products, and the BSSA course taught me how to set prices to ensure profitability." Egnes says she also learnt how to calculate costs.

One of the many contracts the business has completed is one for uniforms of staff members of Absa's Polokwane branch. Egnes Clothing has also recently secured a contract for uniforms for the Makhado Air Force Base choir. Egnes employs two women from the community on a part-time basis to meet large orders like these.

BSSA has offered training courses to hundreds of women as part of the Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative, followed by structured aftercare interventions. Egnes was one of 123 women who attended the five-day course held in both Tshwane and Makhado at the end of 2011.

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