“A successful man, is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him” [David Brinkley]. There can be no truer a saying, than this, for a young entrepreneur or start-up company and in the case of describing the work of Servest’s Enterprise Development Program that operates through the Lesipho Trust, this could not be more apt, in creating economic opportunities for its recipients.
The Lesipho Trust is a fund and non-profit organisation (NGO), that seeks to provide opportunities and economic assistance to qualifying black South African’s and their businesses.
The Lesipho Trust partners with communities and black businesses to create meaningful social change in areas of society, where the Trust operates. It assists companies in advancing their business and also provides them with the opportunity to become Servest preferred suppliers, thus ensuring that they remain sustainable entities.
Naledi Kgoadi who owns Bophele & Ditiro Trading, a facilities management company, says, “the Trust has assisted us a great deal, we have acquired machinery that is going to help us grow and enable us to increase our revenues, by reducing our operating costs.”
Each year the Lesipho Trusts sets a target for new intakes who fit the qualifying criteria, these include;
- the business must be in operation for a period of 1 – 2 years
- the business must earn less than R50 million
- it must be 100% black owned or black women owned
- it must be a registered business
This past year, Thape Media, who consists of a husband and wife team, who combined their skills in the film industry, saw the fruits of their labour come to life, through the assistance of The Lesipho Trust. They currently produce two productions for TV, ‘Gospel Unplugged’ and ‘Fix my love’, as well as producing all Servest’s multi-media requirements. Through this relationship, they also have opportunities to collaborate and partner with Servest’s majority shareholding sister company, Kagiso Media.
“We have been able to inspire youth in our community, as they see that dreams are possible and that someone from a small township can succeed in business and produce content that millions view. We have been able to provide a more secure environment for our family, by building a business that can sustain our dreams. We have made a mark in our industry, by producing TV shows that over five million viewers watch and The Lesipho Trust has been instrumental in enabling us to do this, at a lower cost”, says Thabang Masanabo, wife and co owner of Thape Media. Thabang’s husband, Jo Masanabo says, they have been awarded another TV show since partnering with The Lesipho Trust and their continued support will see them reaching greater heights.
“We seek to empower others, by empowering those within our reach, says Fund Manager, Nerishni Govender. “We create sustainable communities by growing small businesses that create jobs and uplift others, such is the case with Jalusi Corporation (an Enterprise Development Coach and Mentor business), another intake who provides business coaching and development to SMME’s; and we could not be more proud of our association with them and the work that they do”, she says.
The Lesipho Trust was founded in 2014 and seeks to impact local communities, through Enterprise Development, Supplier Development and Socio Economic Development.