With many small businesses hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Siseko Tshonti, who is the brains behind Project Hope, is working on collaborating with fellow entrepreneurs to help promote their businesses.
As an entrepreneur specialising in the field of media and photography, Tshonti, among other young people, had to adapt to the new normal and whose business was negatively affected by the outbreak. “Most small business owners did not have enough resources to sustain themselves. They were extremely affected and as a result they had to close down. Many people have gone into a state of depression so I have been trying to draft ideas on how I can help someone who is in the same situation as me. I started Project Hope to reach out and collaborate with other business owners so we facilitate a way forward to keep these businesses thriving,” he said
He has reached out to local fashion designer and owner of Onodoli Boutique, Andiswa Shenxane, to help promote both their services through social media as local creatives. Shenxane, who has many accolades to her name, has been in the fashion industry for 10 years. She said the outbreak made a it difficult and she had to let go of two of her staff members. “Closing down was not an option. I love what I do. I had to have a plan B because I am dependent on this business. Although I have exhausted my savings, it is always important and wise to save. I think this project will bring hope to those who are struggling,” she said.
“The goal is to work towards hosting events in various fields and offer training sessions and workshops in partnership with several departments. The aim is to support one another instead of competing with each other,” said Tshonti.