“Being part of the Legends Programme has totally transformed the way we run our business,” says Julie Hadley, co-founder of the organisation Heartfelt.
Julie is one of 65 business owners and community project leaders supported in 2011 by the Legends Programme, an award-winning national business development initiative funded by the Old Mutual Foundation. Her organisation Heartfelt, which she owns in partnership with Martha Letsoalo, is based in Makapanstad in the North-West Province. Heartfelt trains local women to design and sew hand-crafted brooches, Christmas decorations and other items from felt, which are sold and exported across the world.
“What makes Legends different,” says Julie, “is that it works with small business owners and entrepreneurs such as myself as well as with non-profit organisations and community projects all across the country, with the goal of helping participants attain new levels of success and sustainability.”
Sisters Faatimah and Zainab Paruk, co-founders of the fast-growing Durban-based catering company Chilli Chocolate Chefs, also seems to have found significant value in the business development programme.
“Without doubt, being a part of Legends has helped us transform Chilli Chocolate Chefs into a more organised, professional, confident and passionate business,” says Zainab.
According to programme participants, what sets Legends apart is the strong entrepreneurial focus that is backed up by practical business tools, training and mentoring.
Catherine Wijnberg, the programme originator and Director of Legends implementing-agency Fetola, explains: “We focus on interventions that make an immediate impact, and ensure that Legends delivers the tools and supports business-owners who really need to thrive.”
* The programme is expanding in 2012 and applications are invited from small businesses, NGOs and community-based projects nationally. For more information contact Chantal de Kock on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (021) 7017466. You can also visit www.fetola.co.za to learn more and download an application form. Closing date for applications is February 3.