Catherine Wijnberg, director of business support organisation Fetola aims to help grow the local ice-making industry through the Business in a Box
Five startups could soon profit from R10 000 in sales a month, after qualifying for a newly launched enterprise development initiative in the ice-making industry.
The initiative, Business-in-a-Box, is currently being piloted. It equips qualifying small businesses to make and sell ice using portable ice-making machines.
The pilot was launched in July by ice-making machine developers Minus40, in partnership with business development consultancy Fetola.
Fetola director Catherine Wijnberg says the five beneficiaries chosen out of 120 applicants will be provided with viable business and technical training as well as portable ice-making machines to help kick start their businesses.
The main aim is to enable participants to create profitable and sustainable businesses.
“Business-in-a Box presents a significant business opportunity because ice is sometimes a luxury and a necessity in rural communities where refrigeration is usually limited or non-existent,” says Wijnberg. The new model promised to be lucrative, she says, and so participating entrepreneurs may be able to pay off capital investment in less than a year.
In time, it is hoped that these entrepreneurs may choose to use their revenue to train and employ other people.
Wijnberg adds that the partner organisations have started small by targeting one province with the hope of expanding to other parts of the country.
Fetola was approached by Minus40 earlier this year to help the company enter new markets by training businesses to sell ice in both urban areas and townships in the province.
“We then decided to give preference to women-owned businesses, as well as rural and township-based entrepreneurs whom we began assessing through interviews and checked whether these businesses were compliant,” she says.
Candidates were asked to provide proof of a clear financial history, entrepreneurial experience, a willingness to contribute a portion of the startup’s expenses and a viable location from which they could operate from (where a market for selling ice exists).The five are to be given access to portable ice-block-makers that can produce about 28 blocks of
10 kg each, every 10 hours. They are also to be given a more versatile fully installed ice-making machine that can be used as a one-stop ice shop.
Technical training on the use of the machinery will be provided by Minus40’s staff and financial assistance is provided by Sefa to enable the beneficiaries to sell in communities where ice is a very scarce commodity.
Fetola is currently helping the beneficiaries to develop business plans which they will use to apply for funding from Sefa.
Wijnbeg says it is hoped that the initiative will secure an initial investment from Sefa of around R100 000 for each participant, who will then be able to generate a minimum of R10 000 per month in revenue based on the ice-making business model.
The initiative will also target those who have no experience in the industry but are committed to succeed.
- Visit www.fetola.co.za to find out more.