Companies wishing to respond to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s call to help create inclusive new jobs in South Africa have an opportunity to help an organisation make this a reality.
Companies can help create jobs in the craft and design sector by joining a bid by a 15-year-old non-profit organisation that is seeking to create 600 new jobs in the Western Cape.
The Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) is about to bid for its second Jobs Fund project through National Treasury, which requires 50% funding by the private sector.
This follows its first Jobs Fund bid it won in 2012, which enabled the CCDI to invest R14.5m in 45 craft and design businesses that were mostly black-owned. It created 464 jobs over three years, at an average cost of about R31 000 per job.
Speaking at an event in March 2016 to celebrate the completion of the first CCDI Jobs Fund, deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said that “through this initiative the government supported the building of intermediary networks that could make a meaningful contribution to sustainable job creation”.
Now, CCDI CEO Erica Elk is hoping to get private sector support to ensure the next Jobs Fund window is even more successful.
She told Fin24 last week that its proposal is for a R32m fund, R16m of which needs to come from the CCDI and its funders. “We’ve raised R10m,” she said. “We need to raise another R6m.”
“We’re talking to a number of possible partners, but essentially that’s where we need the private sector to come on board,” she said.
What fund will be used for
The fund will be used for grants, loans, working capital and equity, she said.
“We function in the creative industries, so we are looking at small businesses that have a creative value add,” she said. “We work in a space where funding doesn’t normally touch.”
This is because a lot of the businesses have two people working in it, but want to create another four jobs, she explained.
“Most funding institutions are not working in that space,” she said. “That is what makes us unique. We see scale in working with lots of small businesses, not necessarily with a couple of businesses that would create lots of jobs.”
The CCDI assists a pipeline of businesses. “We have upward of 3 000 small enterprises that we support, mostly in the Western Cape, but we are starting to work nationally,” she said, adding that this number is going to grow.
The CCDI provides enterprises with business, product and market support programmes. “We work with in excess of 1 500 of these small businesses a year,” she said.
“They come to us, we know them, we’ve done business assessments with them (and) we’ve taken them to shows,” she said. “So, we know very well what the stresses and strains are on those businesses and where the opportunities are for growth.
“Companies in the private sector have funds that they want to spend on enterprise development, but (for) most people, it’s money that they have earned, so they are not willing to just throw it away.
“The value that we bring is that we have genuine businesses that are doing really good work, that are supporting income for the owner and their employees,” she said. “They have lovely stories to tell.”
“Money invested in those businesses is going to be really well used,” she said.
Therefore, private sector investment in the CCDI would reflect well for the company and its shareholders, she explained.