This FEBRUARY we want you to meet the team of small business owners who manufacture our gorgeous, washable, multi use pads for distribution to at risk women and girls.
Dignity Dreams strives to meet three goals. Our second goal is to support and enable small business. For the other three please visit our home page. In this article we would like you to meet the team.
Through our incubator programme we have skilled and uplifted approximate 20 previously unemployed individuals, to cut, sew and pack our products.
In January 2017 we opened our first Incubator. Situated in the heart of Pretoria, it is the first stop for those who manufacture our pads for us.
It takes us about 8 months to train and skill a sewer on industrial machines. During this time sewers are taught how to manufacture the pads, do quality control and basic business skills like invoicing and receipts.
During 2017 we ironed out a number of teething problems. Rejects are now more controlled and we can monitor the quality of each teams work.
Pad sizing was a major problem with hand cutting and despite using templates the problem continued. We have purchased a cutting machine which is now used for cutting so pad sizes have been standardised. We have two trained cutting teams. The machine has given us additional capacity, so if you are looking for someone to cut anything from fabric to leather we will be able to accommodate you.
Our cutters, Lerato and Nthabiseng have also been trained up and #M.E – Menstrual Educators. They are a integral part of the handover process in schools. Nthabiseng got her driver’s license recently. We are very proud of her achievement.
Our Incubator Manager, Lerato Modise, takes responsibility for the production line and managing the sewers on the floor and those that work from home.
The sewers are encouraged to purchase their own industrial machines during the time they spend at the Incubator. This enables them to take their business home. With the skills we teach at the Incubator they can not only manufacture pads for Dignity Dreams but they are able to make a number of additional items for resale.
Our intention is to replicate the Incubator system across the country. They challenge is finding funding for the machines, rentals, training etc. We also need an increase in orders to ensure that each sewer has a regular income.
At present we have 20 sewers, cutters and packers who assist in putting our gorgeous packs together. They are all the major breadwinners for their families and we are proud to be a part of giving them the opportunity to participate in the economy.
This year we want to add additional training and skills to ensure that when they step out of the incubator they have everything they need to run a successful small business.
Please see how you can help the team grow by reading PLANS FOR 2018.