Lending a helping hand
When Thokozani Hadebe and Bonginhlahla Tshabalala decided to establish Uthukela Micro Lending Services, their aim was to save their community from unscrupulous loan sharks and empower themselves in the process.
They soon realised that if they wanted the business to grow, they would need help, so they approached Seda. We immediately identified the following problems: they needed to register the business so that it becomes a legal trading concern – different to the way loan sharks operate; they needed business and financial management training in order to manage their business affairs properly for the growth of the business; computer skills and, lastly, they needed to create a brand for the business and market it aggressively because they were a little known company.
So, first things first we said… We helped them register the business as a close corporation with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). We also helped them register as a credit provider with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) so that their business is above board.
Next, we facilitated business and financial management training and then helped them with promotional material and signage.
Today, Uthukela (UMLS) has opened twelve sites at pension grants pay points (SASSA) within the Uthukela district offices. Their financial management system is up to date, and a proper database of clients has been established.
With these above interventions the company employees increased from two to a staff complement of seven including managing members. This comprises of a full time administrator and six consultants. The company current monthly turnover has increased by an average of 75%.