Two businesses rebuild after the lockdown and riots thanks to Hippo, finding ways to repay those who have helped them survive the hardest economic times.
South Africa (10 September 2021) – In the weeks since we started sharing stories of businesses being helped by Hippo.co.za, we have seen so much hope and positivity flourish. That was the aim of the comparison website’s generosity, to uplift the small businesses that have felt the pinch of lockdown and the looting during the riots.
Through the #GetBackToBusiness campaign, Hippo set out to help ten small businesses get back on their feet. Five businesses were selected by 947 and five by East Coast Radio. Each of the selected SMEs has been rewarded R20,000 in cash and R5,000 to rebuild their business with the necessary fibre access.
Hippo.co.za started this campaign to provide people with better choices during unexpected situations such as the pandemic or, more recently, the rioting. Helping them with making the right decisions with regards to their businesses.
Even before the recent unrest, South Africa’s small businesses were battling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey published in December 2020 by Finfind and the Department of Small Business Development found that nearly half (42.7%) of the 1,489 businesses surveyed across every major sector were forced to close permanently due to existing debt, lack of cash reserves, outdated financials, no access to relief funding and an inability to operate during the lockdown.
Bradley du Chenne from Hippo.co.za has some valuable advice for Small Businesses in South Africa.
“For many businesses, the recent riots and looting were a costly reminder of how unpredictable life can be. While business insurance is sometimes seen as a ‘grudge’ purchase, you cannot afford to operate without it. At Hippo.co.za, we encourage businesses of all sizes – big or small – to compare business insurance quotes to ensure they have the right cover at the right price.”
Heeding that advice this week, the two recipients of R25,000 each, Duma Wines and Mamphego Phasha Studios. Duma Wines was the winner from East Coast Radio, and Mamphego Phasha Studios was the winner from 947.
Speaking to Siphakamiso Blessing Duma, we learned just how the R25,000 would change his business. With the bans on alcohol sales impacting the business, Duma has had to place many of his goals on hold.
“Getting support for my business from Hippo.co.za and ECR have been the greatest gift throughout the year of 2021, when my business was not able to grow decisively due to the current pandemic of Covid-19 which resulted in our source of products being banned”
“The support has allowed us to even change the way we look to attract more clients and customers for our business. For this reason, I feel more than grateful to Hippo.co.za and ECR”
“My business plans to employ more youth in and around our community in a way of giving back to the community while creating more job opportunities for more people of South Africa”
Duma plans to get some office space as well as investing in marketing, now that he has the capital, he can grow his business. Tebello Motlhokoa, the owner of Mamphego Phasha Studios, has also been given this same opportunity!
Tebello had taken up a space at the Bara Mall in Soweto when the riots started. He had four clients on the books and sadly lost all the work they had done for them. He was devastated and on the verge of giving up when the opportunity from Hippo arrived.
The funding from Hippo will allow Tebello to repurchase the computers and cameras lost during the looting. He will be able to reshoot all the footage lost and complete the jobs his clients hired him to do. Tebello will also be able to support his staff again, who have been working solely on commission as full salaries are unaffordable at present.
“The Hippo.co.za support came at a time I just wanted to give up. The support gave me hope and it made me believe in myself and to start working on rebuilding the company again.”
“We are going to take half of the money to buy the computer and the other half will be payment for my employees. They work on commission so since the company has been down the was no salary for them.”
Once back to business, Tebello plans to help up-and-coming artists with their music videos as a way to give back to his community.
One thing we have seen since sharing this #GetBackToBusiness campaign is how willing the small businesses are in paying the generosity forward and using the funding to boost their businesses and communities. Kindness breeds kindness after all!