Suncoast gives small business a lift!
A collective intention of making things happen is the motivation for the all-women sewing co-operative IntakaYempakamo in Durban.
After being retrenched by their employer in 2006, these eight remarkable women, grouped their skills and founded the small manufacturing company.
“We couldn’t give up. We had to do something to continue earning a living and putting food on the table,” says Elizabeth Bennie – Production Manager.
The group (all mothers and grandmothers) began sewing up a storm in each other’s homes, before setting up eleven sewing machines in a more organised production base in the Mobeni Heights area. The qualified machinists completed a Small Business Management course and were ready for business. IntakaYempakamo later relocated to more centrally situated premises in Samore Machel Street (formerly Aliwal Street) in Durban for the convenience of clients.
Marketing Manager, Busisiwe Msomi, remembers the excitement of their first order for a small batch of T-shirts. “This snowballed and now we are asked to make anything from kiddies T-shirts, aprons and women’s leggings to corporate orders for pillowcases.”
“Giving up is never an option for us, and we will work through the night and call on extra hands if need be to get large, quality orders out quickly,” Bennie says.
The co-operative now has a small number of key corporate clients (which include Tsogo Sun, Suncoast Casino, Hotels and Entertainment, Asakhane Marketing Agency and Ninian& Lester).
“These clients have been very good to us, assisting with business advice as well as placing orders,” Msomi says.
“Tsogo Sun is one of our largest clients, and we supply them with T-shirts, laundry bags, pillowcases and much more! They also act as our business mentors by guiding and sharing invaluable information with us. Their input is very useful when we are facing challenges like cash flow between processing large orders,” adds Bennie.
Tsogo Sun also assists by providing marketing material – SUNCOAST’s marketing department designed and created brochures and business cards for the co-operative for distribution to prospective clients.
“We have enjoyed a close working relationship with IntakaYempakamo for some time now and identified them as a small business which could benefit from some mentorship and assistance,” says SUNCOAST Financial Manager Aruna Baijnath, at the handover of the promotional material. “As part of the Mentorship process we established that there was a need for promotional material to boost potential business opportunities.”
“Elizabeth Bennie was also selected to participate in the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurial Programme this year, which we hope will contribute to further success in their business endeavours.”
The Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme supports emerging businesses through coaching, mentorship and other benefits required to build sustainable enterprises.
ABOUT SUNCOAST CASINO, HOTELS AND ENTERTAINMENT:
Influenced by the Art Deco style of Miami South Beach, SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels & Entertainment is Durban’s most loved entertainment destination. It boasts an unparalleled atmosphere from its location on Durban’s stretch of palm-lined beaches known as the Golden Mile and is within walking distance of the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.
SUNCOAST is an integral part of the Durban entertainment scene and is currently undergoing an expansive refurbishment that will see the expansion of the gaming floor with 1,850 slot machines, 71 gaming tables, opening of a number of new restaurants, The Barnyard Theatre as well as the launch of The Suncoast Globe, a multi-purpose eventing venue. The jewel in the Suncoast crown is the new Salon Privé situated on the upper level with 180-degree sea views with its opulent Art Deco design creating a world-class gaming experience.
With a choice of everything from the finest cuisine, to fast food and laid back coffee spots, Suncoast offers Durban dining for every taste. Catch all the latest blockbuster movies on the big screen at Suncoast Cinecentre with eight movie theatres to choose from and the largest 3D screen in KZN, the Supernova. There is more great family entertainment on offer at The Magic Company where the kids and young at heart can enjoy hours of fun with modern and classic arcade games.
Attached to the SUNCOAST complex is the luxurious Suncoast Towers and SunSquare Suncoast hotels which offer superior accommodation for the discerning leisure and business traveler. A stay at the hotel would not be complete without a signature treatment at the Balinese-style spa located on the 9th floor. The stylish Jeera Restaurant located in the hotel is also a must for a culinary experience never to be forgotten.
SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels & Entertainment is owned by Tsogo Sun Gaming.