South Africa’s Nedbank is to fund a ZAR3.4 million (US$292,000) enterprise development initiative with Cape Town-based Fix Forward, designed to develop the entrepreneurial skills of 100 tradespeople.
The non-profit Fix Forward has been matching skilled tradesmen from low-income areas with homeowners and businesses undertaking renovation and construction projects since 2012.
The Nedbank funding will enable 100 tradespeople – 50 in Cape Town and 50 in Gauteng – registered as contractors within the Fix Forward network to take part in a 12-month entrepreneur development programme to equip them with the skills and experience necessary to run their own small businesses.
“We’re delighted with Nedbank’s support of our initiative to set talented, skilled and hard-working tradesmen on a path to building successful businesses. We not only connect them with the market but also focus on giving them the know-how on how to run their own businesses, thus becoming self-sufficient,” said Joshua Cox, chief executive officer (CEO) of Fix Forward.
Nedbank’s senior manager for enterprise development Nirmala Reddy commended the role played by Fix Forward in creating opportunities for hard-working individuals marginalised as a result of lack of resources, business acumen or contacts.
“Fix Forward introduces the industry to competitively priced, competent tradesmen, and is giving back to equip these individuals in establishing businesses of their own. As a bank for small business, it’s an initiative that matches our desire to grow the economy and create jobs through our own innovative solutions aimed at helping small entrepreneurs,” Reddy said.