LOCAL COBBLER AND MILLINER
Local Noupoort resident, Martha Ntombi Mosoane, epitomises the spirit of entrepreneurship, grabbing hold of the opportunities that life presents her whilst eliminating hindrances and distractions. At a time that artisanship’s are being overlooked, Ntombi has learnt the art of millinery and has now added cobbling as another arrow in her quiver.
A self-taught hat maker, Mosoane, was funded by Noupoort Wind Farm to attend Pretoria’s ‘School of Hat Making’ in 2017 and has now added cobbling and beautiful upcycled handbags to her design repertoire. The ongoing mentorship, funded by the wind farm’s development programme, coupled with her creative flare and drive, has ensured that her designs are being offered beyond Noupoort as far as the outlying areas of De Aar, Colesburg, Hanover, Middelburg and as far afield as Kimberley, expanding her reputation. She is also now employing others from within her community, a direct result of her business’s growing turnover.
Three years ago, Mosoane literally found her sewing machine on a dumping site. Realising its value, she retrieved it and started her own business doing clothing alterations. Her next step was to launch Mosoane Fashions, a sewing business, concentrating on traditional clothing, school uniforms, choir and church attire and modern clothing. She had no external input or guidance, so when the chance to join Noupoort Wind Farm’s enterprise acceleration programme came about, she seized the opportunity to fulfil her vision.
“South Africa needs entrepreneurs if we are going to achieve the economic growth we need and Ntombi depicts the required characteristics, which is why we have selected to support her enterprise through our local economic development programmes. She is goal focused, confident, creative, determined, and a self-starter, making her the ideal small business owner,” explained Economic Development Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm, Sandisiwe Mntonintshi.
With South Africa’s expanding rate of unemployment fast approaching 40%, creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurial activity could easily fast-track economic growth and tackle the unemployment crisis. And according to the World Bank, South Africa has only 7% of the adult population involved in running their own business. This is low even when compared to other sub-Saharan African countries, where the rate of entrepreneurial activity is nearly four times higher.
Ntombi Mosoane’s Hat Making Enterprise, is a beneficiary and graduate of the Noupoort Wind Farm Enterprise Development Programme, which was initiated during 2016. This Programme continues to assist those who wish to start businesses, as well as existing entrepreneurs to grow with their business vision.