Creatingly (Pty) Ltd is a marketing and events company that specializes in brand activations. Based in Cape Town, it was founded in October 2019 by Mandy Mnyanda.
The idea for the business came about when Mandy was working in the events and promotions industry where she had spent more than 8 years.
At the time, she was a single mother and the long hours meant she wasn’t spending much time with her kids.
“I was always at work,” explains the entrepreneur. “My working hours were demanding. I sometimes worked Monday to Monday and as a result, I suffered from burnout and was on anxiety pills for 3 months. When you juggle motherhood and a demanding, highly pressurized industry your health is bound to suffer. That’s when I decided to resign and start my own company. I started Creatingly.”
Since then, Mandy has had an incredible journey with many highlights along the way. Empowering the youth of disadvantaged communities is one of the big ones.
“We embark on different projects to help the youth utilize opportunities available in becoming entrepreneurs and teaching them skills on how to start and manage a business. We conduct a series of workshops for ideation and early-stage youth entrepreneurs.”
Mandy’s model seems to be working as Creatingly has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from the youth and elders alike.
“We’re impacting communities positively. We’re keeping the youth busy and giving them options to explore while they are unemployed. I was part of the 15 youth entrepreneurs selected in Cape Town from more than 300 applicants to be part of the Seed 4 Change NPO programme for youth entrepreneurs and were equipped with skills to run our businesses and I graduated.
We’ve launched 2ma Mina, a food delivery service that operates in the townships. We deliver breakfast, lunch, bread, milk, grocery or medication delivered to your door within 2 to 3 hours. For more information please visit www.2mamina.co.za or like our Facebook page for more information. The response from the communities is great.”
The journey has not been without its fair share of challenges. One of these challenges has been access to a business network.
” It takes years to build business relationships and attending network events helps. It’s difficult to find and afford skilled employees in fields like accounting and legal.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also put a damper on the operations of Creatingly.
“The nature of my business requires huge numbers of people to be successful and for clients to see their ROI,” explains Mandy.
Customers need to engage with the brand and creating brand awareness campaigns you need to be close with the audience/people. With Covid-19 restrictions people need to practice social distancing and be atleast 1 metre away from each other therefore activations cannot happen. Even with the workshops we’ve cancelled and we will continue doing them when the lockdown is over. Our business is closed due to the pandemic.
Althouth Creatingly is not operating during the pandemic, Mandy saw and grabbed an opportunity to help her community during the crisis. She started a soup kitchen that runs in Barcelona informal settlement in Gugulethu, a project she funds solely out of her own pocket.
“This is one of the communities where poverty and unemployment is high.
“They’ve been badly impacted by the virus. The community is struggling and in need of food. As a mother I couldn’t stop thinking about the kids and I wanted to help them. Our first time doing the soup kitchen I was psychologically damaged as to the appalling conditions they live in. We also ran out of food and children were still queuing. I was heartbroken and emotional. I don’t think there’s any parent in the world that would want their kids to die of hunger or not be able to eat food.”
The residents are “immensely grateful” for the food.
“I know it’s not much but I’m helping a community in need. Being able to help the community with the little that I have and the residents being grateful is the best feeling ever. It’s a challenge not to have funds to make the soup kitchen happen every week as we currently feed more than 150 people especially the children. The adults also want food but unfortunately I don’t have finances to feed the whole community. We don’t receive donations from individuals or companies to sustain the soup kitchen.
“We appeal to the public and businesses that have the means to donate with food, hand sanitizers, masks and money. We want to run the soup kitchen on a weekly basis and feed more than 500 people. Please find it in your heart to think about the children that go to sleep without eating. Any donations would be highly appreciated.”
If you would like to get involved or follow Mandy’s journey, visit her website and get in touch with Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org.