Entrepreneurship - Showcasing the spirit of entrepreneurship
The National Council of People with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) assists persons with disabilities to find jobs and supports initiatives in micro enterprise development, especially in rural areas where the focus is on facilitating tourism, agricultural, mining and IT contract work, as well as developing arts and crafts initiatives. A Free State woman, who became a quadriplegic after a taxi accident, is a true entrepreneur. She identified a need in her hometown of Bloemfontein and turned her experience and need for an accessible home into a successful small business. Having worked at the Free State Association of Persons with Disabilities (APD), Nthabiseng Mologoana, often hosted guests from various workshops in her home as there were no facilities or guest houses in the area that catered for people with disabilities. She took the plunge in 2009, creating a welcoming guest house with five rooms which is universally accessible for people with disabilities. She has since employed two assistants who help with running the lodge which is very close to the N1 and an ideal stop over for those traveling between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Named after her nickname, Lentha’s Lodge, has been awarded a provincial emerging business award in the tourism category.
Another successful entrepreneurial enterprise supported by the NCPPDSA is, ‘Like it Leather’, started by Elsa Lowings, who used to run dressmaking and patchwork skills development workshops for people with disabilities under contract from the Department of Labour. Now, retired and in a wheelchair herself, she continues to sew the various handcrafted ‘Like it Leather’ patchwork products such as leather handbags and purses as well as iPad and laptop covers. Elsa provides an income earning opportunity to six people with disabilities, who get paid per kilogram for their work. The business, started in 2007, allows all employees to work from home and at their own pace as well as controlling their earning potential.
If a company purchases services or goods from a small business where there is an owner, founder or worker with a disability, they can attain points on their BBBEE scorecard.