Spring is in full bloom in Canada and the US, but in South Africa winter is approaching. This is just one of the many differences between our two lands. Another stark difference is clear when we compare the services and finance options available to small businesses. The lack of support and financing common in developing counties is too often a hindrance to enterprising women in South Africa and across the continent.
The Phakamani Foundation continues to strive to bridge this gap – at the grass roots level by providing training and access to small lines of financing and by working with policy makers and large businesses to impact the future of the country. We could not do this without our many donors and partners.
EXCITING UPDATES FROM THE FIELD
- We have been preparing and sharing news about Phakamani’s expansion into the kwaZulu Natal (KZN) province for quite some time. We are pleased to report that that first team of loan officers spent the end of March in the classroom and early April found them shadowing our experienced staff from the Mpumalanga branches. The first loans are expected to be distributed in KZN in May.
- Additionally, we are very happy to announce that the Phakamani Foundation Trust has been established. This will allow South African companies to earn Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) credit by donating a small amount of their equity to the Phakamani Foundation, the Trust’s sole beneficiary. Learn more about BEE on our site.
- The Phakamani US Fund wrapped up their annual fundraising efforts last month. Thanks to the generosity of many of you, Phakamani will continue to grow throughout 2015 and into 2016. THANKS!
- As we continue to move into 2015, progress is evident in the rate of client payments. This is due to the hard work of our staff. The better we prepare clients for the challenges associated with running a small enterprise, the better prepared the women will be to repay their loans on time. The better equipped the Phakamani Foundation team members are to provide targeted support during the rough patches, the better equipped our clients are to navigate through the challenges associated with growing a micro-enterprise.