Cape Town – The Department of Small Business Development has committed to give R1m for the marketing of Peek, a new e-commerce platform which will enable crafters and designers to showcase and sell their products.
Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said at the launch event on Tuesday "we need to start seeing ourselves as the next best thing; we can't expect other people to see Africa as the next best thing if we don't see it ourselves.
"Africa is the next best thing for Africans, by Africans".
Zulu said Peek will enable South African crafters to connect with the rest of the African continent. This, in turn will ensure that these products are accessible everywhere in the world and technology allows this.
WATCH the minister speak about the need to embrace technology to access markets.
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The website has been piloted since August 2016 with small businesses and currently has over 100 businesses listed and over 450 products showcased. The site has already received over 35 000 views in its pilot phase. On Tuesday morning it hit 140 000 page views.
"Digital services and digital technology is increasingly becoming integrated with our lives; we're talking about wearable technology, smart clothes that can tell you what your blood pressure is, etc. We need to keep up with it and to keep up with it, we need to be connected. This is where Peek comes to play," said Erica Elk, managing director of the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI).
WATCH: Erica Elk speaks about how Peek will help crafters and designers sell their products.
"Peek is an important addition to the physical market access opportunities on a global platform. It facilitates access for small businesses to local markets, key national and international trade and consumers," CCDI said in a statement.
The platform was spearheaded by the CCDI and funded through the Craft Customised Sector Programme of the Department of Small Business Development. The Craft Customised Sector Programme is a fund disbursed to provincial hubs and agencies to support and grow creative enterprises in the craft sector in South Africa.
The programme has been in existence since 2007 and has been contributing to government’s commitment to rapid economic transformation.
Creative businesses can sign up for the Peek site by registering as a business member on the CCDI database at www.ccdi.org.za for free.