Category Archives: About Rwanda

Threads Stitched By Standard Bank: The Business Of Fashion Accelerator Programme

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The global Fashion industry today is worth 3 trillion USD however, Sub-Sahara Africa accounts for only 1% of that.

Of all the potential obstacles to growing this market in South Africa, it seems creative talent and exposure are the least of what hinders upcoming fashion brands from thriving on the international scene, access to finance even less. There is a definite need for teaching the business of fashion – fashion entrepreneurs need to be supported in professionalizing their enterprises and running a truly profitable business.

There is real opportunity to take South Africa’s up-and-coming fashion designers and turn them into powerful fashion CEO’s. Given the appropriate support, these fashion entrepreneurs could be running profitable businesses capable of competing on the international apparel scene, creating jobs, and having an impact on the South African economy.That’s why purpose-driven marketing agency NONZēRO partnered with Standard Bank to create: the Business of Fashion accelerator programme “Threads – stitched by Standard Bank”:

What Standard Bank is looking to do is support the entrepreneurs’ creativity with the crucial business know-how, mentorship and support that’ll propel the business to the point where they’re experiencing real growth, and running like professional outfits. The partnership with Standard Bank is a key to delivering on this goal. In order to supplement the programme with an academic backbone, the team partnered with the e4 Impact Foundation, an initiative of the Universita Cattolico of Milan focussing on impact entrepreneurship. Together they created a 12-week curriculum that focuses on the business operations of a fashion enterprise: From financing and retaining employees, to lean manufacturing and eCommerce, as well as specialized procurement methods and marketing.

The programme is open to all fashion entrepreneurs with existing business operating in South Africa, and is taught simultaneously from four regional classroom hubs: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The programme takes place two evenings per week for a 12-week duration. The participants will also be taken on action learning field trips across South Africa designed to showcase best practices’ across the country in various fields.

Working together with the Standard Bank Incubator and a strong eco-system of partners in business (including Mercedes-Benz), government and civil society, the programme calls upon the expertise of some of South Africa’s top business minds and thought leaders as programme teachers. The programme uses real-life case studies and experiential learning exercises to reinforce the academic learnership of the programme with practical industry insights.

At the end of the programme, the participants will be invited to present their new business model in a business case presentation to a panel of judges, and the winning participant will be taken on an international trade trip to Europe. The key focus of this trade trip is a meeting with a high-impact private distribution network enabling the participant to liaise with and present their business/products to wholesale buyers and retailers, as well as attending trade fairs.

The winning participant will receive an SME start-up pack courtesy of Standard Bank, will become a Mercedes Benz brand ambassador and drive the brand new vehicle for a 12 month period, as well as benefit from continued mentorship by the Threads team.

To participate in the Threads programme, interested entrepreneurs can apply online, via Threads website, http://www.threadsonline.co.za. (Open to entrepreneurs with an existing business in operation in South Africa for at least one year). The application process opens on 11th September, 2017 for a one-month period, ending on 11 October, 2017.

 

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Africa Reign: Ndutiye Colombe

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Ndutiye Colombe is the founder and creative director of INCO ices a Rwanda based fashion brand.  Her aspiration is to expand INCO’s work and to showcase what uniqueness that Africa and Rwanda have to offer. Ndituye is currently working on opening a store project that she expects will enable other young and upcoming designers to showcase and make their creations available through retail. She has realized that at earlier stages most local and young brands are not able to fully finance themselves and have stores, therefore they cannot reach their market. That is why the solution was to have a store were these brands can be made available. INCO produces quality products and they want to penetrate both the national and international market and stimulating the economy.

Within Africa Reign, I see The African ability to compete in its originality

Ndutiye believes that we can have the African Dream if the youth starts believing that they can, by learning from different opportunities offered to them and most of all from learning from their elders’ experiences and their own mistakes.  The youth needs to believe that they are the ones who own their countries and the African continent. they need to take education seriously and work well in their chosen fields and not forgetting that the future depends on them.

I think the youth has heard enough speeches and now they need to take action. If they are willing to learn then they will always find ways.

In developing Africa fashion has a huge role to play. Ndutiye highlights the number of jobs that can be created, designers, the tailors, models, photographers, writers, journalist and event planners just to mention a few are able to get jobs and content through fashion. Africa has a large number of imports on clothes. If the African fashion industry is strengthened then the millions that flow out of our countries can be spent in Africa thereby developing the fashion industry and stimulating economic growth.

Fashion is in someways a cultural identity from where it is made and what it represents including the story of its origin and the makers.

Find more on Ndutiye’s brand on www.incofashion.com and https://www.facebook.com/INCO-Icyusa

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AFRICA REIGN BRANDING BY https://www.facebook.com/BranditPro