Nombeko Story

Nombeko Myalwa is a SEF client who has made drastic changes to her line of business due to the pandemic (COVID-19).She joined SEF in 2016 at Nxarhu Centre in Lusikisiki Branch, Eastern Cape region. She started selling fruits and vegetables in town until the time she decided to take her entrepreneurship skills to the next level where she decided to stop selling in town and started another business at her home where she was selling alcohol. Her business grew tremendously which enabled her through time to increase her loan size from R2 500 to R25 000, and she is willing to take even more than that if given the opportunity. Her savings balance further proves that she can go further than that.

Before COVID-19, she was taking a loan of R24 000, and when the president announced level 5 of lockdown in March 2020, she really struggled because it was very difficult for her to make orders. She had to buy her products from the local shop at higher prices, which led to her profit deceasing rapidly, making it very difficult for her to pay her April instalment. Her group however gave her all the support she needed, and they ended up taking the option of not paying in May to help them recover. Myalwa had to go back to the drawing board to formulate a new business strategy which would be more convenient to overcome the challenges she faced during initial peak of the pandemic, and following critical decision making, she came to the courageous conclusion of changing more than 70% of her stock and starting a new business style from scratch. She went from selling alcohol to selling spaza goods. According to her belief she says “long gone are those days when women were supposed to stay at home and then men go out to look for something to do, today men and women work hand in hand preparing a better tomorrow.

Like Nombeko, many of our clients are skilled entrepreneurs just lacking the capital to get started. A little credit goes a long way towards helping these women reach their full potential.

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