Nedbank and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) have joined forces in support of The Hope Factory; SAICA’s enterprise development initiative. Nedbank is committed to the support and development of existing and emerging entrepreneurs. Nedbank Business Banking’s enterprise development proposition provides a flexible lending approach, business support and technical assistance programmes specifically designed to accommodate the needs of the entrepreneur and the business. Important components of this support encompass business mentorship and customised training solutions through leading accredited training institutes and service providers.

Since its inception in 2001, The Hope Factory now trains over 100 people annually and employs between 80 and 100 graduates.

The holistic 15-week training programme focuses on:

  • Technical skills: sewing, pattern marking, beadwork and other crafts
  • Business skills: entrepreneurship and small business
  • Life skills: time management, CV writing and HIV/Aids.

The Hope Factory designs a wide range of beautiful, handmade corporate gifts and conference materials tailored to suit the corporate market. All profits made from the sale of these products are reinvested in training more potential entrepreneurs.

The Hope Factory is a 100% BEE supplier, and all products purchased create employment, empower people and uplift the community.

Mark Rose, head of new business development for Nedbank Business Banking says, “The Bank’s investment in The Hope Factory came about as a result of the exceptional work it’s doing in Nelson Mandela Bay.”

This is significant, given that the unemployment rate in Nelson Mandela Bay stands at 38%, compared to the national average of 23%.

Elizabeth Zambonini, SAICA’s project director for enterprise development, says, “We are extremely grateful for this tremendous show of support by Nedbank to The Hope Factory. It is the success that it is because of generous investments such as these”.

In 2006, five graduates started their own business called Mzansi cc. Their business is based in a local township, New Brighton, and they also have a display at a craft shop at the Boardwalk Conference and Entertainment Centre in Port Elizabeth. They manufacture clothes and jewelry, which also include their own prints and designs.

Nonkosazana Ngqinambi says that for her the experience has been a financial life saver. “I am the breadwinner for my two sisters and the guardian of four children. The Hope Factory has taught me how to take care of my family and financially support them.”

Ayanda Ndungane has been looking after her five year old nephew since her sister passed away. “The Hope Factory’s approach to training is holistic, focusing on developing each person entering the programme. Many of those who are part of the programme come from a poverty-stricken environment with a low self-esteem. Some are single mothers like myself, who need to provide for their families but don’t know where to start. The Hope Factory helps them to build a better life for themselves and their children.”

The Hope Factory continues to be a significant role player in empowering South Africans to be financially productive.