I'm trying to investigate how I can obtain financial assistance for my South African "start-up" project.
I currently live in Johannesburg, and would like to create a social/sustainable project which would entail working with the local community. In short my objective is to manufacture, and promote locally derived products, to both a local, and international clientele.
I welcome any suggestions, expert advise, or contact details of any organizations you know would be willing to contribute to my project.
Thank you in advance for your assistance & all the best!
I've checked the website, & from what I understand the company appears to be more of a supplier or providing various types of entertainment services. Is this correct? or do they provide other support to start-up companies in other ways?
It is an interesting proposition, a couple of years ago I worked with an international charity to look at starting three projects in South Africa and Malawi. Getting the levels of investment required wasn't the problem it was all about the historical consistency of independent projects and finding the right structure to remain internationally accountable whilst working locally.
So how much are you looking for, what sort of investment do you need and are you looking at international investment funds for sustainaility in the short term moving to a social market structure? If you are happy to answer those questions I may be able to help with some of the research materials I discovered for the charity I was working with. The outcome was funding was available for Malawi but due to the political pressures the project never started. 12,000 US dollars was the initial investment followed by cash injections of 10k per annum for three years the money was there.
H i Tullia..
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I worked on a similar project about 5 years ago in Joburg. We were trying to help the Shona stone sculptors cut out the middle men who were abusing the situation and paying next to nothing for beautiful art they would sell for 300-800 times what they paid the artists. We also trained several groups of beach merchants in Kenya and Tanzania so they could make T-shirts based on local computer-generated designs instead of having that income go to non-African creators. We also have trained photographers who are slowly, but surely establishing themselves as serious competition for the cards that are produced in Europe. We got some assistance from the SETA programs. I don't know what they're doing these days, but back then it was difficult getting them to invest in anything that did not relate to security. We had extreme difficulty although the patrons of our projects included Bishop Tutu, Welcome Msomi and others. Even though Mandela endorsed our Soweto Centenary project, we ended up self-funding this effort in partnership with Vista University.
I don't know how much time you have spent living in Joburg, but getting financial help proved very difficult. That's the main reason I moved to Cairo. Here, as poor as Egypt is, we don't have nearly the funding problems we had in SA.
Let me know more about your project and I might be able to steer you to (hopefully) the right people.
As commentators have said funding is a real nightmare to come by. You may want to cheque with the folk at the US African development fund, if they are present in your country. They may be able to help.
Ultimately you need customers and not funding. If you are given the money on a loan basis which is more likely, you need to repay it! Therefore it's is more important to come up with a product or services that others are willing to buy at this stage!
Here in Zimbabwe we are faced with that same predicament of lack of funding for our social projects . Everything else has been set in place but whats lacking now is the funding .For now we just doing simple marketing of local farm/community produce with better funding more can be gained by our society . Any international organisations which you think can come in handy ?
My original idea was to start a cosmetic company company using organic ingredients derived from the rural areas. However given the recent xenophobic attacks & general security issues in Johannesburg, I've had to re-think whether this will be a viable project for me. I'm still trying to get to know the country, & understand how things work over here.
Which country were you looking to work in, & are you already based in Africa?
From the little I've seen South Africa offers beautiful craftmanship. Were you interested in specific types of furniture?
yes I share the same concerns about SA, I am thinking about moving back there too. I am currently working in Lesotho and hoping to start high quality craft development training and then I would then market the products in SA, the UK, US etc. if this works I would want to expand into other countries. It would be good to find a partner who is on the same wavelength to work with on the marketing side.