MzansiStore collaborates with Barn Khayelitsha to host ecommerce workshops


Recently there’s been a lot of focus on enabling entrepreneurs in townships like Khayelitsha across South Africa’s Western Cape province. Most notable has been the establishment of The Barn Khayelitsha by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in March. Now, the initiative is partnering with online craft market MzansiStore to host a series of ecommerce workshops in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

Likened to that of an Etsy of Africa, Mzansi Store launched in September 2012 to provide local craft entrepreneurs with the tools and skills to help grow their businesses online. Today it boasts more than 250 small creative designers and crafters, 40% of which are small BEE businesses.

Read more: MzansiStore: this Etsy for Africa aims to empower local crafters

The founder of the ecommerce platform, Deidre Luzmore, thanks the VeloCiTi Enterprise Development programme which gave her the necessary strategic focus to exponentially grow her database.

“Collaborating with CiTi and The Barn Khayelitsha is an exciting opportunity,” she notes in a press release. Deidre applauds the initiative’s role in directly answering an urgent need of the local entrepreneurs.

“Presenting an ecommerce course is absolutely the right tool for these entrepreneurs at the right time,” she adds.

Luzmore will present the ecommerce course at the Barn Khayelitsha on 20 April 2015 to a select group of 20 candidates. Budding entrepreneurs will learn about the relevance of ecommerce in today’s trade, as well as have the opportunity to create their own accounts on the MzansiStore site, where they can load their products and customise their landing pages.

“Ecommerce is just one way we are helping entrepreneurs become IT enabled,” says Chris. “Exposing these entrepreneurs to a wider audience through IT means that we get better test data and better to-market business strategies for their startup ideas. A more satisfying result for the participants is the increased income potential for the entrepreneur generated by online trade.”

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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