The Townships Project A Canadian non-profit jumpstarting business in South
African townships through microlending, microfranchising
and asset based community development.
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Nowethu and her husband hard at work. Marcus Garvey near Cape Town, South Africa. Nowethu started her sewing business in 1997 in Marcus Garvey, near Cape Town, South Africa, in order to augment her husband’s meagre wages.  At first she made traditional clothes using a manual sewing machine.

In 2001, Nowethu expanded her business to include selling fizzy drinks.  Since then she   has added candy, biscuits and snacks to her business with profits made from the expansion of her clothing business.  Diversifying has made it possible for her to smooth out her cash-flows as the clothing business turnaround is on average every six weeks.  Since becoming a borrower with Tetla Financial Solutions, Nowethu has also upgraded her machines to two electric machines, further increasing her productivity and income.  The microloans have allowed her to expand and grow her business dramatically.

Nowethu’s family has benefited immensely from her business.  When her husband lost his job, she trained him and he now works in her sewing business operating the second machine.  Together they support an adult son who is unemployed and a grandson who is still at school.  Without their business and the loans that helped Nowethu scale up production, the family would have been in a lot of trouble when Nowethu’s husband lost his job.  Now they are self-sufficient and can depend on themselves for income.

When asked about her borrowing experience, Nowethu pointed out that the loans have helped a lot, but that she needs even more funds than Tetla can currently lend to her, as she wants to scale up her business as much as possible.

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