On the 26th of March 2020, South Africa changed forever. Overnight informal business owners like, Zimkitha were forced to close. Unable to earn an income, invisible, with no savings, and unable to access government support. They have been left in dire risk of severe poverty, losing both their immediate and long-term livelihoods.
In this new reality, we need to see the world differently. We do.
In Zimkitha, we don’t see a number. We see a face, the face of a powerful female entrepreneur who needs a break, who needs the system to change, who doesn’t want handouts, she just wants a hands-up. A level playing field. In Zimkitha, we see the solution to COVID, we see the informal economy rising up to take its place beyond a safety net, to become the new engine of growth for South Africa.
We see a stronger, more resilient, inclusive future or everyone…
Females account for 80% of all informal micro-enterprises and have been found to be the worst hit by the crisis. We want to unlock their potential to fight back against COVID.
1.1 Emergency Relief
1.1 Food Vouchers
WOM will leverage our network and relationships to identify Members (female-led businesses) most at risk and provide emergency relief through food vouchers so they can support their families during the lockdown and the immediate aftermath.
2.2 Access to Formal Supply Chains
Members also gain access to formal supply chains usually out of reach, so that they have everything they need not just to survive but to thrive.
2.1 Online Marketplace
WOM has built the first on-demand marketplace for informal settlements. This provides female entrepreneurs with a much larger local market, by connecting them with customers in their community who couldn’t previously find or trust them. Stimulating the informal economy from within to create income and jobs where it is needed most.
WOM provides business acumen, financial management, and vocational skills training for our Members, so they can grow as their businesses do, provide more services, and save for the first time. All making them more resilient to future shocks.
3.2 Financial Inclusion
WOM wants to use our data to help the invisible become visible, inform public policy, and create further financial inclusion with access to finance.
WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE...
We want to raise over 300,000 USD (6M ZAR) to scale our proven innovation across South Africa, so we can support hundreds of business owners like Zimkitha fight the economic impact of COVID-19...
To generate over 5M ZAR in additional revenue for our Members, and the informal economy.
To support over 700 female led micro-enterprises to get back on their feet and reach their potential.
Supply over 1.5M ZAR in stock to the informal economy.
Sign-up over 80,000 Users, and complete over 25,000 bookings.
WHY CAN WE DO IT...
We've generated over R800,000 in additional income for our Members. For every 2.8 USD spent on marketing we can generate 11.2 USD for our Members.
We've built partnerships that matter, from community leaders and churches to some of South Africa's most prestigious brands, such as Old Mutual and UCT.
Our technology and operational model is ready for scale, to support female enterprises across South Africa.
Our Board of Directors have over 40 years experience developing and scaling services for low-income communities.
Our impact and results have seen us shortlisted for Google's Impact Awards, and represent South Africa at Dubai's Innovation Impact programme.