Small Business Focus

How to turn South Africa into a nation of start-ups

How can we turn South Africa into a “start-up nation”?

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed The Clothing Bank CEO Tracy Chambers for his weekly small business feature.

Chambers helps unemployed moms start their own businesses.

(Read: "How Tracey Chambers is helping unemployed moms become entrepreneurs")

Her company gives women access to discounted merchandise and 500 hours of training in money management and business skills.

The business skills were not enough. We discovered that many of the women lacked confidence.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

The Clothing Bank’s motto is: ‘Don’t give a woman a fish. Teach a woman to fish and teach her how to sell her fish.'

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

(Read: 10 fallacies that make start-ups fail)

We teach them to be great capitalists; to extract as much money as they can.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

We have a single mother with seven children. Before she joined she couldn’t feed them. Now her two oldest daughters are enrolled in Technicon!

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for quotes from it.)

96% of our women continue running a business.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

Once I know I can, I can!

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

One ‘I can’ moment upon another ‘I can’ moment builds self-belief.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

We focus less on business skills and more on psychology.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

We have a concept called ‘micro-franchising’…

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

We invest R35 000 in each woman’s training.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

When you design a program; make sure you set people up for success. Make sure there’s a high chance of success.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

Many women we work with were poorly parented.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

You can’t fix 35 years of underdevelopment in one month.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

Poor South Africans are finding that, if you have two hands, you can do it for yourself.

Tracy Chambers, The Clothing Bank

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