Community Empowerment

Pitching Boosters Recognise Innovation

Young entrepreneurs in the City are hard at work innovating solutions to help resolve problems in their communities. The City, on the other hand, has introduced programmes that give support to emerging entrepreneurs with creative ideas.

The Pitching Booster Programme, introduced in 2018, has afforded young and emerging entrepreneurs in the City an opportunity to receive capital support. Enterprises which specialise in agriculture, logistics, manufacturing, ICT and business services have been a major priority.

Through this initiative, entrepreneurs pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges who are industry experts in these fields.

Phumzile Mthembu took part in the programme and won an award in the form of business stock to the tune of R20 000 to grow her business. This 27-year-old mom of two from Phomolong in Thembisa runs a business simply known as Ingcweti PTY LTD. A wholly black-owned manufacturing company that specialises in producing coconut-oil-based baby ointment in her backyard.

Mthembu says, “PureB is a natural ointment for the treatment of eczema, ringworm and nappy rash. The product is 100% natural and contains no harmful chemicals.”

“The idea to start my business was born after my two-year-old son was diagnosed with eczema in 2018. After several attempts to find a solution to treat his condition, I researched on natural remedies which can help,” said Mthembu.

Mthembu said her business is well received by the community of Thembisa and she has managed to expand her clientele. She supplies to local creches, churches and conducts door to door sales.

Future plans

Mthembu said she was planning to establish her distribution of the ointment at clinics and hospitals. She confirms that big chain store retailers have approached her for business, and she is aware that retailers need a lot of capacity in order to sustain production, both in terms of finance and human resource.