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Clothing Bank wins social entrepreneur award

Apr 19 2016 13:06

At the launch of the Durban branch of the Clothing Bank (from left): Natasja Ambrosio (MRP Foundation director), Najwah Allie-Edries (head of Jobs Fund) and Tracey Chambers (CEO Clothing Bank). (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The Clothing Bank, a local non-profit business, has won the 2016 Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year award.

In an effort to turn the tide on unemployment in South Africa, The Clothing Bank transforms the lives of unemployed mothers trapped in the cycle of poverty through entrepreneurship. Unemployed women, with a strong desire to change their lives, are taught business skills and are able to access clothes and other merchandise to purchase and sell at a reduced price.

The clothes and merchandise are donated to the Clothing Bank by major South African retailers. The Clothing Bank then helps each woman to become her own micro-retailer, empowering her to become self-employed and look after herself and her family. So far the Clothing Bank has received 2.7 million garments valued at more than R167m.
 
Since the Clothing Bank started six years ago it has trained 1 135 single mothers to begin their own micro-enterprises, collectively garnering a profit of over R40m at an average of R4 100 each per month.

“We are extremely grateful that so many of SA’s leading retailers have rallied behind The Clothing Bank. The success of our project, and the difference we are able to make to the lives of so many families would not be possible without their ongoing, generous support," said The Clothing Bank CEO Tracey Chambers.

In her view, the award from the Schwab Foundation is an acknowledgement of this difference being made in the lives of people.

When business, organisations and people partner together to find innovative solutions to empower South Africans, so many more lives can be impacted for the better, according to Mr Price Group, the largest contributor of donated clothes in the KwaZulu Natal region.  
 

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retail  |  entrepreneurs  |  small business
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