A quote I once read said this “leaders are dealers in hope.”
Well, what follows is the result of about two years’ meetings with community workers – that there makes them leaders in themselves. Ladies who faithfully and diligently go into the poorest of communities to encourage and uplift people who are in dire poverty. The contrasts in our communities are vast, and the outlaying communities from our cities are the worst off financially and materially – yet so rich in community life.
In an endeavour to develop community crafting skills as a means to alleviate poverty these women have been meeting to seek out a practical plan or model for entrepreneurship.
The following writing is perhaps but one version of an expected final document that can capture the concept of caring through community entrepreneurship.
THE HOPE TRADERS CO-OPERATIVE
– Traders in Hope –
Hope gives a future.
When the Non Profit Organisations came together through Durban’s Soul Action Network, a vision began to birth to capture entrepreneurship as a way to aid the alleviation of poverty among clients of their organisations. In 2012 the Hope Christmas Market saw the light of day and has since become a very successful annual event, complementing an entrepreneurial mind-set for community development.
Emerging from this initiative was a gathering of community workers who formed an Entrepreneurial Development Focus Group, who have been meeting for the past two years to establish a realistic and practical plan for entrepreneurial development for the local crafting communities.
The Hope Traders Co-Operative writing is but one draft, that may take the task forward, through the following prospect.
To develop and promote community entreprenuership, – and advance Durban’s profile as a favourite tourism destination, – by establishing an unique retail space where creative displays of local craftsmanship will attract visitors and revenue from the international and South African tourist industry, – and expose creative Crafters and their stories, to a global market, and Durban as a caring city.
- Create an unique tourist attraction for prospective visitors and investors to the city.
- Establish an unique retail space to showcase local Crafters and their products.
- Connect the consumer and producer through use of story/multimedia/experience.
- Promote Entrepreneurship through creative collaboration in Durban and wider communities.
- To identify, celebrate and nurture the creative potential within communities.
- To attract revenue from the tourist and local trade toward sustainable living for Crafters and their communities.
- To facilitate opportunities for entrepreneurial and community development.
- To act as a catalyst to integrate cultures.
- To weave community caring into the fabric of the Durban society, and its city image.
- To encourage and educate the South African public to buy local South African products.
In South Africa we live in a society where the “resources” of its various members have the potential to – and yet do not always – address various forms of cognitive, physical, social and emotional poverty. (Phil Bowyer, Soul Action Durban)
If, with the tools of our rich diverse cultures, community caring, crafting skills and imagination, we can harness a personal work ethic, through Entrepreneurship, there is no reason we cannot take on the mind-set of … “from poverty to progress“, and contribute to an emerging informal economic pillar for a prosperous South Africa – that benefits all.