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Homegrown SA Company Wins International Award

Local company named a global innovator at the 2011 Global Prepaid Awards.

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Homegrown SA company, DrawCard, who was short-listed as a finalist in four categories at the 2011 Global Prepaid Awards, won the ‘Best Corporate Prepaid Card Award’ at a prestigious ceremony held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in early October.

This innovative corporate card programme – the Santam Insurance Claims Card – has revolutionised the way in which Santam pays its claims, providing convenience and choice to its policyholders.

“To be recognised as a global innovator amongst the leading payments companies in the world is extremely gratifying and something we are very proud of. This could only be achieved through the passionate commitment of our staff and the loyalty and support of our clients and partners.” said Philip Froom, co-founder and managing director of DrawCard.

The Global Prepaid Awards has become a firm fixture for key role players in the industry. According to Prepaid Awards Producer Emma Armstrong, submissions came in from all over the world since entries opened in April this year. An established leader in its field, DrawCard specialises in the design and development of innovative prepaid card programmes, including Visa payroll cards, incentive cards, gift cards, and insurance replacement cards, amongst others.

http://www.prepaidawards.com/2011winners.aspx

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Jump Start 2019 Internships Open

MRP Foundation’s internship offers graduates opportunities to kickstart meaningful retail careers.

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Students from the 2018 Professional Retail Programme working together as part of the dedicated ‘classroom time’ of the internship. Photograph: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee.

Applications are now open for the Professional Retail Programme starting in 2019, a life-changing work experience opportunity for graduates looking to jump start their careers. This internship falls under MRP Foundation’s Jump Start skills development programme.

Karen Wells, Head of MRP Foundation, believes that the Retail sector offers a multitude of career options. “We have developed these internships in response to the ever-widening gap between tertiary education and the working world that leaves graduates unprepared. Developed by industry, for industry, and taught by industry experts, the retail internship offers young people the opportunity to build on their current knowledge base, learn much-needed practical skills and develop their careers. Over the years, our internship programmes have jump started the careers of many talented young people.”

Related: How Your Company Can Easily Attract Fresh Talent

The Professional Retail Programme is designed for graduates to gain a foot into the exciting world of retail. The 10 month course aims to develop well-rounded merchants and traders by exposing graduates to the universal principles of retail and the value chain and teaches in-demand skills to succeed in the retail careers of Buying, Planning and Operations Management Development.

The internship is open to graduates or final year students from all BCom Degrees, Business Management, BSc Degrees, Business Science, Stats and Mathematics Majors, Entrepreneurship Majors, Retail Management and Graphic Design.

If you’re interested in pursuing an exciting career in retail and think you have the passion, commitment and creativity to succeed, apply by midnight 16 November 2018. The internship takes place in Durban and spaces are extremely limited for both courses.

Apply for the Professional Retail Internship here.

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Real Work, Real Retail

The hustle and bustle of Big Box KwaMashu prepares young graduates for the working world.

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The spirit of entrepreneurship evident at Big Box’s KwaMashu retail location helped inspire young graduates from the Professional Retail and Pre-Production Programmes to succeed at their real life learning challenge — to apply their internship learnings to trade at a fashion pop-up store by selling clothing and footwear to the residents of KwaMashu (26 October).

To help bridge the gap between tertiary education and the working world, MRP Foundation worked closely with retailers and the Retail and Supply Chain industry to create blended-learning programmes that equip graduates with real world work experience and career confidence. The Jump Start Professional Retail Programme is an intensive internship that prepares graduates for careers in planning, buying and store operations and the Pre-Production Programme develops clothing and fashion graduates in pre-production elements such as design, costing, pattern making and planning.

Students were given just one day for the daunting task of preparing stock, deciding on price points and visual merchandising, before setting up shop in an empty container. They had to work together as a team to implement strategy and react to customers, with facilitators from The Appletree Group and Orenda on site to guide the students and offer advice.

Originally from Newcastle, Mbali Gamede is part of the Professional Retail Programme. “I was initially intimidated because I am introverted but it was a wonderful experience to challenge my fears and engage with customers. The programme teaches you what you don’t learn in school, how to apply yourself in the business world and how to handle frustrations and emotions. It bridges that gap and you learn on the job.”

Related: The Future Is Now – Ecommerce Retail Trends For 2019

Twenty-five-year old Tessa Rae van Rensburg joined the Pre-Production Programme as she was looking for experience in the fashion industry. Speaking about the experience at Big Box, “You can’t do this on your own; everyone has been working together. It has been a learning curve but we have been so well equipped by our mentors and lecturers. I’ve been able to get a lot of experience as an all-rounder and saw a lot behind the scenes. I would like to work in retail as a buyer.”

Bandile Mbatha, from KwaMakutha just outside of Durban, believed the experience helped practically unpack the theory taught during the Professional Retail Programme, such as emotional intelligence, price strategy and working as a team. “During the programme I learnt about the Supply Chain, which in theory is difficult to understand but you are exposed to it practically — I visited a factory for the first time. It equips you with real skills that you can apply to the working world.”

With various sources stating South Africa has the highest unemployment youth rate in the world*, it’s vital to prepare youth for a successful career by giving them workplace experience and life skills as well as linking them to sustainable employment opportunities. These programmes help youth become skilled traders and merchants of the future who can succeed in the ever-evolving world of retail, which is good for local industry too. MRP Foundation is proud to share that the 2017 Professional Retail Programme class achieved a 100% employment rate after graduation.

If you’re interested in pursuing an exciting career in retail and think you have the passion, commitment and creativity to succeed, apply by midnight 16 November 2018. The internship takes place in Durban and spaces are extremely limited for both courses. Applications are open for the 2019 Professional Retail Programme. Apply here.

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Jump On The Home Industry Bandwagon! Start Your Own Baking Business With These 5 Tips

Sibongile Mooko, Milling Exec at Premier Foods

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Maybe the thought crossed your mind after the tenth compliment of your home-baked cupcakes, or that breyani you whipped up for a colleague’s birthday lunch: You spend so much time in the kitchen anyway, you could start up a home industry business of your own – making sweet and savoury delights, and getting paid for it. These days who doesn’t need an extra bit of income? Bonus points for earning it while doing what you enjoy.

Whether you just want to take the occasional order from your immediate social circle, start peddling your creations on the market circuit, or have grander aspirations of setting up a franchise or releasing a full-colour cookbook, an entrepreneurial mindset will help you match your dreams to reality.

Here are the biggest considerations when starting your own home baking or cooking business.

1. You need to plan

You may love to bake and cook, but a business can’t get by on passion alone. When turning your hobby into a professional enterprise, you need to create a business plan. A biggie here is working out pricing so that you never operate at a loss. Along with food supplies, remember to factor in things like electricity and water use.

Also include a marketing section in your business plan so that you have a strategy about how to make people aware of your business. It’s a good idea to sell at markets, fetes and other local events to build your reputation and lay the groundwork for relationships with cafés and home industry stores. And don’t forget the Internet – at the very least set up an Instagram account and Facebook page to profile your creations.

Related: Making Money From Your Baking Hobby

2. Differentiate yourself

bakery-business

Home baking and cooking is a very competitive business. There are lots of people doing it. So, how do you stand out from the crowd? By specialising – in terms of what you’re selling and who you’re selling to.

It’s a good idea to start with your “bestseller” product before expanding. Do people go gaga for your icing skills? Maybe you want to position yourself as an expert in fancy birthday cakes. Have you mastered gluten-free baking? You could market yourself as making health-conscious treats for people with special diets. At the same time, consider your ideal customer. Perhaps you’re only going to sell to corporates. Once you’ve decided on your target market, check out the competition to see what they’re doing.

3. Never compromise on quality products

Once you start baking and cooking professionally, the margin for error decreases drastically. If you have a big order and are working to a deadline, you can’t afford flops. Always use trusted brands with a reputation for reliability and quality – like Snowflake.

Profit margins are small with home industries but if you want to grow your business you can’t afford to cut corners with your materials. To get that all-important word of mouth from happy customers, everything that comes out of your kitchen must be consistently irresistible.

Related: How To Start A Bakery Guide

4. Recognise your capabilities

You must be organised if you’re turning your pastime into a profession, but you need to be prepared for its personal demands as well. Expect long hours and very early mornings in the kitchen, especially if you’re working around a day job. Also, if you need help for any aspect of running your business, get it. For example, if you’re struggling to find customers and sell your goodies, enlist the help of people – even if it’s just family and friends – who have a convincing sales manner.

5. Don’t forget the legal side

While starting out small is a given, soon your budding business will start to take off. In that case, you’ll need to register a SMME to make sure you’re compliant with legislation around food safety and business operations. At this point you should probably take a course in environmental health and get appropriate insurances. It may seem like a headache but it’s a great opportunity to extend your knowledge.

Starting a home baking or cooking business comes with a lot of benefits, like low start-up costs and the opportunity to show off your creativity. Another area of personal reward is that you’re making customers happy. Everyone loves home-baked and home-cooked goods, which come with a strong sense of nostalgia and quality – and people are always willing to pay for them.

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