Newsletter No.28 27 July 2018
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UJ’s Enactus project uses coop system to empower women in the textile sector
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) recently presented its African Stitch Secondary Cooperative Enactus project at the Enactus South Africa National Competition, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The project is aimed at addressing the challenges women face in the textile sector.
Enactus UJ promotes entrepreneurship and has already contributed 58,750 volunteer hours to empowering women in textile manufacturing by introducing an entrepreneurial mindset at schools, organising the informal business, and promoting social cohesion for refugees through business skills.
Faculty advisors business management lecturer Joyce Sibeko and communication design lecturer Christa van Zyl indicated that the initiative is the first-of-its-kind and placed them in the fifth position in the Enactus SA Competition 2018.
Fashion as a lucrative business in Africa
In 2017, the African Development Bank stated that African fashion is one of the top business opportunities for the continent. Designers are increasing the feasibility of African fashion on the world stage and are leveraging the continent’s rich cultures, history, and fabrics to make bold fashion statements.
The African Development Bank indicated that Africa’s fashion industry could be worth $15.5bn over the next five years. However, this is still only a small share of the global fashion industry’s value of $1.3tn. Despite its current challenges, Africa’s fashion industry has the talent to create millions of jobs and significantly boost the economic growth on the continent.
Enactus UJ established the African Stitch Secondary Cooperative, an international brand that promotes quality African products and services and educates the world about African cultures. Stitch products are inspired by all histories, cultures, and religions in South Africa and beyond. It also set up an online shop and an app for purchasing Stitch products.
The establishment of African Stitch Social Enterprise will enable the women to ride on this wave of business opportunity. Stitch brings together older and younger women in the fashion industry to take advantage of this opportunity. The participating women will manufacture apparel, accessories, homeware, rituals-related products, church apparel, and even introduce certain herbs, preserved or dry foods that are part of the African culture. After the initial project launches in Gauteng, it will be franchised to the other eight provinces through universities.
The team’s victory was realised when they presented the interventions the team implemented to fast-track the success of the women. After developing business plans for 16 cooperatives, they approached international charitable organisation Oxfam for funding, which included a proposal that articulated all the activities they needed Stitch to become a reality. The budget was R339,000 and was allocated for the following – 37% training and development of the women and their coops, 13% research, 6% initial stock, 29 % initial location rental, and 15% marketing promotion.
Encouraging young designers
To accelerate the introduction of African Stitch to the market the team injected R20,000 capital to the youth fashion expo. They assisted Lindiwe Molefe, the young designer and PR for Stitch, to launch her label Lilymo in the market.
In August 2018, Enactus UJ will be assisting cooperative designer labels to produces five pieces under the theme stitching an Afropolital brand.
The African Stitch Secondary Cooperative has more than 160 members and is still recruiting more members from all provinces. To become a member you may buy shares for R500 each; a minimum of 10 shares is required to become a member or as a primary cooperative. A monthly subscription of R100 per person is also paid. These funds enable the women to take orders at any time as they can access capital from stitch at all times.
“As an incubator of future-fit leaders, the values espoused in entrepreneurial practice is a cornerstone of UJ’s educational approach. Our students’ performance was exceptional, as the level of competition was incredibly high. Our team competed against teams representing top South African universities,” says Sibeko.
Sibeko concludes: “I’m grateful that the entrepreneurial actions of the university have been recognised. It would not have been possible if it was not for the exceptional lecturing staff at UJ and all the support received from the entire university.”
IGF Expo 2018 to present global trends in home textiles
IGF Expo, beginning November 13, will provide opportunities for global home decor brands and trend setting start-ups to enter the Nigerian market, build strong relationships and take high value bulk orders. The 3-day fair will also host seminars for retailers, interior designers and buyers to increase revenue, upskill their teams and promote their brand.
“The event is a must-attend whether you’re on the look-out for design-led or mid-low price point interiors, furniture, textiles, coverings, gifts and objet or fashion and accessories. The IGF Expo presents an exciting edition of trend-setting brands from around the globe including the Best of Made in Nigeria, many exclusive to the show. Hundreds of suppliers will bring their complete portfolios for specifiers, installers, hospitality, importers, wholesalers and Retail businesses to see, touch and feel in a showroom setting,” said Bunmi Aliyu, event manager IGF Expo, Clarion Events West Africa, organiser.
Russell Hughes, commercial drector, Clarion Events West Africa, also affirmed that Nigeria has a lucrative growing fashion and apparel market with over $4 billion spent annually on importing textiles, clothing. It is the largest retail market in Sub-Saharan Africa worth $215 billon per annum.
Angolan textile industry to get $150 million boost
The textile industry in Angola is all set to get a boost as a group of businessmen from four countries—Germany, Turkey, Mozambique and the US are going to invest $150 million in setting up a textile plant in the northern province of Malanje. The objective is to reduce import and increase export of textiles from the southern African nation.
The consortium held a meeting with Angolan industry minister Bernarda Martins, and Malanje governor Norberto Fernandes dos Santos “Kwata Kanawa”, according to Ghanaian media reports.
As a first step under the project, cotton will be grown in Quela district, considered a traditional cotton growing area, Rubar Sandi, chairman of the Board of Directors of TSG Global Holdings, said on behalf of the businessmen. The ministry of industry has already asked the ministry of construction and public works to improve road access to areas where cotton is intended to be grown in Quela district.
The textile factory will be built in the Agro-industrial Development Hub of Malanje, where power supply and drinking water access would be provided soon, Martins said.
With simultaneous cotton growing and construction of the textile plant, 40,000 to 50,000 directed jobs are likely to be created, media reports said.
Angola first witnessed cotton cropping in the mid-16th century during the Portuguese colonial period. The country’ss cotton production reached a record of 86,000 tons in 1973, making it one of the world’s largest producers.
But the civil war after the proclamation of independence in 1975 virtually ended cotton production.
Kenya to use Sh6 bn Indian loan to upgrade Rivatex
Kenya will use a Sh6 billion loan from India’s Exim Bank to expand the Rift Valley Textile East Africa Limited (Rivatex), which had collapsed in the late 1990s but was bought and revived by the state-funded Moi University. The project will increase jobs at the firm from 600 to more than 3,000, according to Kenya’s cabinet secretary for treasury Henry Rotich.
Rotich urged the company management to sustain operations while launching its modernisation plan in Eldoret recently, according to a Kenyan newspaper report..
All collapsed textile firms in major towns will be revived to create more jobs for the youth, he said.
Manufacturing is one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four legacy agenda. Others are affordable housing, universal healthcare and food security.
India has invested more than Sh22 billion in projects across the country to boost economic growth. F2F
Did you know………
Facts about the 1920’s Fashion for Women.
Fasteners: The old fashioned method of buttoning and lacing garments was replaced with easier, new fasteners. Hooks and eyes, buttons, zippers or snaps were all utilized to fasten clothing.
Rolled stockings: Flappers rolled stockings below the knee, and used garters to keep them up.
Cloche Hat: The bell-shaped cloche hat was a defining fashion statement in the 1920’s. The name is derived from cloche, the French word for “bell”. Cloche hats were typically made of felt and were designed to be worn low on the forehead. For evening wear, Cloche hats were made from beads or lace. By the end of the 1920s, it became fashionable to turn the brims on cloche hats upwards.
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