USB empowers diski’s boss lady

2015-11-19 06:00
Nomvano Mbathiso (wearing green), with her soccer team.

Nomvano Mbathiso (wearing green), with her soccer team.

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The world of soccer might seem male-dominated, but for Nomvano Mbathiso, getting the youth off the street to play soccer was an initiative she now intends to turn into a business.

With the assistance of the Small Business Academy (SBA) of Stellenbosch University’s Business School (USB), where Nomvano is a participant in the fully sponsored small business development programme, she has acquired the skills to establish a business, turning what started out as a labour of love into a fledging non-profit business.

Mbathiso,39, is one of 22 small business owners from Mitchell’s Plain, Langa, Philippi and Khayelitsha participating in the SBA programme, which is sponsored by, among others, the Distell Foundation and Absa.

The programme aims to advance the sustainability of small businesses operating in townships by fuelling their growth and potential for job creation.

The participants will complete the intensive nine-month course on 20 November.

Mbathiso believes the Try Again Football Club, or Ayatshisa Mateki, based in Siqalo informal settlement near Samora Michel in Mitchell’s Plain, has the potential to not only change the lives of children and youths in the area, but also her employment status.

“I am also unemployed, having lost my job two years ago. Among other things, I sold fish and chips to make ends meet.

“I know what it is to have nothing and to struggle to survive. In our area, unemployment, especially amongst the youth, is increasing and there are so many children on the street without any formal education and young adults without any jobs,” she says.

“My husband and I felt a need to offer these young people a safe haven and a purpose in life to try and keep them from turning to drugs, alcohol and crime.”

There are currently 52 active members and the club has four divisions including a senior team and an u.13, u.15 and u.17 teams.

Sponsorship has provided basic equipment and currently they are using the open space near the R300 in Mitchell’s Plain for practice and matches.

“We gather players from surrounding areas and have joined a local league association, the Mandalay League,” Nomvano says.

“Our coach, Ndiko Hardson Mavata, was previously affiliated with the Khayelitsha Football Association and we can definitely see the improvement in our players since he has started coaching the teams. We want to win this league, play in the Castle Division and then go on to play in the Vodacom National First Division (NFD) at which point our players will earn a salary.”

After finishing her matric in 1994 and a computer course in 1998, Nomvano worked as a fish wholesaler and supermarket cashier before finding herself unemployed in 2013.

According to SBA programme manager, Edith Kennedy, the programme is designed to assist people in growing their small businesses.

“We have so far been able to teach Nomvano skills with which not only to register her business as a non-profit organisation to receive preferential tax treatment but also to grow her membership, ensure a steady stream of income and robust marketing efforts to secure sponsors.”

Mbathiso is currently working on implementing a business plan that will see a small membership fee charged to each soccer player, tickets sold for local games, as well as partnerships with larger football clubs such as Phillipi and Khayelitsha.

The development programme presented by USB academic staff offers workshops and lectures in financial and business management, in labour legislation and Human Resources issues, marketing, customer service and the use of social media.

Each participant is matched with an alumnus of USB to mentor them – an approach that has proven to be one of the most valuable benefits of the programme. For more information, contact Heindrich Wyngaard on: 021 918 4184.

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