The Hope Factory – growing and fostering entrepreneurship

Growing entrepreneurial skills, developing businesses and impacting communities − this is the core of what The Hope Factory delivers, and so much more. This non-profit company forms part of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Nation Building division.

Socio-economic empowerment

The Hope Factory focuses on developing business skills in individuals and assisting them to start small businesses, and impacting communities by mobilising economic activity for socio-economic impact. This socio-economic impact is created in targeted townships and rural communities by developing individuals with good business fundamentals through socio-economic development (SED) programmes and projects to generate their own income.

Ensuring skills development

The Hope Factory also implements skills development programmes and the YES Programme which focuses on growing the pipeline of Accounting Technicians (South Africa), AT(SA)s. These specialists service the new businesses through back office and accounting support.

Their skills development programmes provides SETA-accredited New Venture Creation short skills unit standards – NQF level 2 and 4. The Hope Factory has the ability to provide this as a learnership or short skills programme to small businesses or unemployed black individuals.

Tackling unemployment

“We are all aware of how high the unemployment stats are, with South Africa ranking in 16th place worldwide in 2020, according to the World Population Review’s country ranking report. This being measured pre-Covid 19, and also not taking the expanded definition of unemployment into account, only hastens the critical need for focus on this burning issue in our country. The establishment of sustainable small businesses is therefore vital for addressing South Africa’s socio-economic challenges. And while the B-BBEE codes provide an appropriate framework in which this can take place, it is vital that the growth of these small businesses is approached strategically”, says Annie McWalter, CEO of The Hope Factory.

Changing lives

Founded in 2001, The Hope Factory has reached and impacted 1 900 entrepreneurs and micro businesses mainly in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. In 2019 alone, they provided accredited entrepreneurial skills and mentorship programmes for 235 individuals.

Recognising the devastating effect that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on SMMEs, The Hope Factory Covid-19 SED Relief Programme was established with the aim of influencing good personal finance and business decisions during the pandemic.

This short term support programme is fully virtual through MS Teams training and coaching sessions and data was provided to all 13 participants to assist with their connectivity. Focal areas included, leadership in a time of crises, how to become tech savvy, making good financial decisions through financial literacy training, and financial coaching focusing on compliance, invoicing, costing and effective financial management.

The Hope Factory had the opportunity to celebrate their first set of 13 graduates of their Covid-19 SED Relief programme on 13 November in Port Elizabeth.

A challenge to corporate South Africa

“We are calling on corporate SA to get involved to help rebuild and encourage township communities and start-ups to keep going strong. Use your B-BBEE spend to fight the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on SA’s small businesses and communities.

The Hope Factory is passionate in the role they play in supporting individuals and start-ups nationally, and we urge business to do the same,” says Jolandi.

 The Hope Factory looks forward for a hopeful 2021, with a special focus on woman and youth empowerment as well as continuous targeted community building and national customised projects.

The Hope Factory – Igniting hope for a better future.

For more information, go to The Hope Factory website.

To partner with us email:  Jolandis@thehopefactory.co.za

Media contact for The Hope Factory: Kelly Sin Hidge: kellys@thehopefactory.co.za