Thembisile Hlahla joined Phakamani in 2014 but that was not the start of her entrepreneurial journey. She had been sewing traditional dresses and selling them along with fruit and vegetables. She is now on her third loan cycle and the access to capital continues to enable her to expand her business. Her current business model is to make monthly sales on credit: she collects a deposit from new clients to buy the supplies and then makes a set. Once she is finished she collects the rest of the money from the clients.
With her increased revenue Thembisile supports at least 10 people, but sometimes the number of individuals relying on her income increases based on life events throughout her extended family. She has built a small shack in Pretoria for her son and for when she goes to stay there and she also bought a refrigerator. She wants to buy her own sewing machine as she is using a burrowed one at the moment.
Working with Thembisile and others like her is a pleasure for the Phakamani field team.