#RebuildTogether. Telling the entrepreneurs’ story. Busi Ndaba, Imisebe Yethemba Co-operative

Busi Ndaba Managing Director: Imisebe Yethemba Co-operative, est. 2010

“I believe that the lifeline of any small business is the relationships between your clients, your colleagues, and your suppliers. If any of those relationships are suffering, you as a business suffer as well.

This is how we have found ourselves impacted by the recent unrest. A lot of suppliers we have been collaborating and working with have found themselves having to scale down and reroute their businesses during this uncertain time. On a personal level, we had some of our equipment, such as our grass cutting tools, badly damaged in the storerooms. The ecosystem that keeps us alive as a business has been greatly disturbed. If I try to go to a store it is difficult to find anything.

Luckily we have a home office, so we escaped the brunt of the damage, but watching the destruction happening was incredibly heart-breaking. When we started Imisebe Yethemba, we were a social enterprise and a lot of the people that we work with are young, being 26 years old myself. So, seeing the statistics of the rising unemployment for the next generation and the possible impact that it will have on townships has hit me especially hard. Small businesses were what was supposed to help elevate that problem by a fraction, and with this recent destruction, finding work opportunities will be even more difficult. It’s probably going to take a long time for those businesses to recover or even start up again.”

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