Schoolgirls receive business opportunity

Hand Beauty ‘staff’ (front, from left) Noluthando Skhakhane, Buyisile Mkhwanazi, Xolisa Ntombela and Nokwanda Ndlovu receive their material from Poobie Naidoo (back, left) and Pat Naidoo (right).PHOTOS: lethiwe makhanya
Hand Beauty ‘staff’ (front, from left) Noluthando Skhakhane, Buyisile Mkhwanazi, Xolisa Ntombela and Nokwanda Ndlovu receive their material from Poobie Naidoo (back, left) and Pat Naidoo (right).PHOTOS: lethiwe makhanya

GIRLS from Nhlanhlayabebhuze High and Matiwane High schools got the opportunity of a lifetime last Tuesday when they were sponsored with material and items to start their own business by well known Pietermaritzburg businessman Poobie Naidoo and his wife Pat.

This is a programme organised by the LifeLine PMB, where schools were invited to come up with business proposals and plans and then present them to business people in Pietermariztburg on August 26.

Sinikiwe Biyela, LifeLine PMB director­, told Maritzburg Echo that they initiated this programme because they saw that many schoolgirls are struggling financially.

“We deal with a lot of pupils who are orphans, and others live with their grandmothers and cannot afford necessary stuff like sanitary towels.

“We decided they need to do something that will bring them an income and to keep them away from doing wrong.

“We had about 10 schools who participated in this programme, but only two won because their presentations and business plans were strong,” she said.

Matiwane High School had two groups - Hand Beauty, who make bags, necklaces, and so on, with beads, and Upcoming Carpenters, who do carpentry.

Nhlanhlayabebhuze only had one group, the Woza Nathi Tuck Shop.

The three groups were sponsored with material for their respective businesses.

Khanyisile Zikode from Upcoming Carpenters, who is in Grade 11, told Maritzburg Echo they are excited to be sponsored because they have always wanted to start a business, but did not have funds.

“This is going to help us a lot. The money we raise in the business will help us when we apply to go to university­,” she said.

Poobie told the young girls that it only comes with hard work if they want to succeed.

Poobie said this was the first time he has seen “strong” and “brilliant” business plans.

“I have seen a lot of business plans, but they were nothing like what these young girls presented to us.

“You might think they are just young girls and don’t know what they are doing, but surprisingly I have learnt something in their business plans and will implement it in my business,” he said.

Poobie said he is impressed with the girls’ visions and hopes other business people support programmes like this.

“As much as we encourage them to go to university to study and get a degree, there must be some form of background that they can fall into because the unemployment rate is so high.

“Our children need to be self-sufficient.”

He added this will also keep them busy and they will not find time to do illegal things like taking drugs.

I have seen a lot of business plans, but they were nothing like what these young girls presented to us. You might think they are just young girls and don’t know what they are doing, but surprisingly I have learnt something in their business plans and will implement it in my business. As much as we encourage them to go to university to study and get a degree, there must be some form of background that they can fall into because the unemployment rate is so high

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