The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Kwanalu facilitates Umvoti rural entrepreneurs receiving R300K Business kickstart

26 May 2023

KwaZulu-Natal agri-business entrepreneurs from Greytown, Matimatolo, Msinga, Muden and Eshane, who completed the KZN Agricultural Union’s (Kwanalu) Women and Youth Rural Entrepreneurship (WYRE) training, were recognised recently in an awards ceremony that saw them receive R300 000 towards kickstarting their businesses.

Monetary and agricultural inputs totalling to R300 000, courtesy of Absa, were handed over to the 94 entrepreneurs based on completion of their Kwanalu WYRE training, and the submission of their individual business plans.

“We are so proud of our WYRE participants and it is truly inspiring to see these entrepreneurs grow from strength to strength during their training. As a solution-orientated agricultural Union, and from our years of experience working in the rural sector, we identified that poverty and lack of skills was not a top-down solution but one that can only be truly reversed if we committed to a sustained programme that supports people throughout the entire entrepreneurial process,” said Kwanalu CEO, Sandy La Marque of the Kwanalu WYRE initiative.

The 94 agri-business entrepreneurs identified include businesses in fertiliser and chicken feed distribution, sewing and beading, cooking and baking, spaza shops, creches, as well as small scale and communal farming businesses.

“Many of us can relate to our mothers’ struggles where they really had to hustle to get the food on the table, school fees paid and get us to where we are. Our support to these entrepreneurs and their achievements truly reflect our commitment to empower South Africa’s tomorrow, one story at a time. We look forward to seeing the progress these entrepreneurs make,” said Langa Simela from Absa Agribusiness Development.

Kwanalu’s WYRE, a non-profit initiative, was launched in October 2021 as response to dire consequences the July 2021 looting had on the economies of rural towns across the province. Since its inception in 2022, the Kwanalu initiative has trained 1 500 entrepreneurs.

With the vision of providing women and youth in rural areas with the real and easily implementable tools, mentorship, networks and resources to start their own businesses, and empower others to do the same, WYRE has been providing training to the communities of Msinga, Greytown, New Hanover, Matimatolo, Eshane, Lilane, Muden, KwaNyuswa, Embo, Molweni, KwaNgcolosi, Pietermaritzburg, Ulundi, Msunduzi, Vryheid, Port Shepstone, Mahlabatini, Nongoma, Ulundi, Elandskop and Paddock.

“I am astounded by the resilience of rural youth and women in their attempt to create a living for themselves in whichever way they can. I am pleased that the young people involved in this programme have demonstrated character and thankfulness for the opportunities provided. They hustle every day to make a living,” said WYRE Project Manager, Kathy Hurly.

Kwanalu is a representative organization and voice of the rural and agricultural sector in the province. Its viewpoints are based on submissions from its members and it is committed to a sustainable and profitable future for agriculture within KwaZulu-Natal and greater South Africa.

Kwanalu welcomes businesses and individuals wanting to get involved through funding and invites them to get in touch with WYRE Project Manager, Kathy Hurly on WYRE@kwanalu.co.za.

For more information on Kwanalu visit www.kwanalu.co.za or call (033) 342 9393.