Sand Dollar Design launches One Voice initiative with entrepreneurs contest in informal settlement

Outside of our vision of changing the digital landscape in South Africa and beyond, by re-imagining the user experience and helping organisations in Healthcare, Financial Services and Telecommunications delight their staff and customers alike, Sand Dollar Design also has a strategic objective of making a positive impact in the communities we operate in.

One Voice
We’ve imagined a way that our company and others that choose to partner with us can make a BIG impact in the spheres of Business, Arts, Education and Healthcare (to name a few), with the potential to transform communities and our country as a whole. We call this movement One Voice. (Keep an eye out for the onevoice.africa platform to be launched soon!)

Here we go!
Our first initiative kicked off last week, in the form of a Business Coaching and Investment contest in the informal settlement of Woodlane Village (also known as Plastic View) in the East of Pretoria. The informal settlement (pictured below) is home to more than 3 000 people and is situated next to the Moreleta NG Kerk.
The concept
Much like the popular TV Shows “Shark Tank” and “Dragon’s Den”, budding entrepreneurs from the community were invited to pitch their business ideas to a panel made up of Sand Dollar Design CEO Jaco van den Heever, Designer Nqobile Vundla and Environmental Health Expert Rebaone Molebatsi, who were tasked with judging the potential of each business and possible risks and challenges they may face. 
After each pitch, the panel had the opportunity to ask questions about the venture. The panel then rated each business according to a scoring sheet considering investment cost, whether the idea had been proven at a smaller scale and what the potential impact could be, e.g. job creation for others in the community. At the end of the day, the 6 highest scoring entrepreneurs were selected as winners.

So how did it play out?
A total of 26 entrepreneurs arrived on the day for the pitching contest. The majority of the participants were female, whilst most of the entrants explained that they are really struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis and are desperate for an outcome. The majority also already had their business up and running to some extent. The most common business concepts presented were: – Spaza shops / general dealers selling perishable and non-perishable items – Hairdressers – Selling other merchandise such as clothing, shoes, jewelry, and cosmetics

The investment fund and coaching process
Sand Dollar Design is donating a pool of funding to invest in the winning 6 businesses. The investments in the businesses need to be repaid within a specific timeline, after which the pool of funds will be re-invested in the next round of entrepreneurs. Alongside the investment, the entrepreneurs will also be receiving business coaching, assistance with marketing and other forms of assistance to give their businesses a greater chance of success.

Coming soon
Our next post will feature the 6 winning entrepreneurs and their businesses, as we start our investment and coaching process with them.

Get involved If you or your business are interested in partnering with us in the One Voice initiative, please get in contact.

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