Entrepreneurship promotes the country’s development, and for many South African families, it is the foundation for a better future. In line with this, Rays of Hope, with support from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) provided 30 women from Alexandra with the skills to do professional gel nails, including manicures and nail art, and a kit to start their own nail salons, as part of its commitment to move families from a state of vulnerability to independence. The ladies were also trained on massage therapy to be able to add that service to their offering.

According to a report by the South African government, when women are empowered there is hope for families to thrive, communities can become safer, and economies grow. Through the inclusion of more women in the economy, we can also put an end to generational poverty.

Family and Social Services Leader at Rays of Hope, Bertha Muchadeyi, says: “There is a high rate of unemployment in Alex, combined with households dominated by single mothers. With the beauty skills training programme, we aimed to leverage the passion these women have into skills that will allow them to become independent and earn a living. Our programme began with 30 between the ages of 18 – 40 women registered, and we are proud to announce that all 30 women graduated at the end.”

The achievement of financial independence empowers women, irrespective of their socioeconomic status, to feel more secure and respected. In addition to giving women the skills they need to generate income, Rays of Hope equips them with the tools they need to inspire and motivate other women in Alex.

“In addition to empowering me to run a nail salon, the programme ignited my creativity and exposed me to many other fields. Additionally, meeting women from diverse backgrounds helped me realise that I am not defined by my background and that I can use my challenges to my advantage,” says Bongiwe who was part of the programme.

Sibu, who was also part of the programme says: “As a result of unemployment, I was not only demotivated, but also depressed. Through the programme I have been empowered, I have made friends that also play the role of a mother figure in my life, and I am forever grateful for the work that is done to uplift communities like mine.”

Rays of Hope plans to empower more women with similar entrepreneurial skills in 2023 and welcomes any suggestions and support. The ladies are also available to do corporate days, so if you are interested in supporting these small businesses, please contact [email protected].