Local entrepreneurs showcase innovative products

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A group of local entrepreneurs set up tables at the Woodstock Exchange, showcasing their innovative products and services to eager shoppers on Tuesday.

Hosted by eKasi MBA in collaboration with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, the exhibition saw “the best of the best” entrepreneurs from around Cape Town displaying their careful selection of some of the extraordinary arts and crafts, fashion and food the city has to offer.

Organiser Olwethu Kayiba, a business coach specialising in township economies, develops the 9-week program, eKasi MBA that equips entrepreneurs with basic business skills.

“At the end of it, we host networking events such as this one where the entrepreneurs get to apply what they’ve learned and meet real-life customers and potential investors and collaborators.”

The program not only equips the entrepreneurs with skills but also connects them with networking opportunities such as these markets where they can make an immediate return.

“At the end of the process, you will learn how to sell, how to use technology in this craft to be able to create value.”

He adds that it’s about finding entrepreneurs in it for the right reasons and connecting them with the right opportunities to make money.

“Our wealth as Africans has always been our ability to create beautiful art, but we are yet to learn to convert that into sustainable livelihoods.”

Local entrepreneur, Lungiswa Joe, the founder of the brand Inxwala Slow Market says she tries to find synergies between the market spaces and the crafters.

“Inxwala means a celebration of harvests.

“This market is a celebration of the maker’s hands. What they make is a harvest and they celebrate it with us.”

Linda Ruiters agrees. The entrepreneur’s selection of unique products includes earrings made from treated mealie cobs and recycled wine corks. She sees the market as a celebration of the top-notch creativity the city has to offer.

“Everyone’s products are innovative and rare yet they are produced locally.”