Burgersdorp based cooperative thrives in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic

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From an annual revenue generation of R442 338 to generating R2 507 394 in revenue in six months, Kaizen Primary Cooperative becomes one of the small businesses that continue to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

With institutions looking for personal protective equipment (PEE), Kaizen saw an opportunity to review its business model to meet the increasing demand for PPE.

During the COVID-19 pandemic peak, March to September, Kaizen became a leading manufacturer of PPE in the Joe Gqabi district receiving orders from two local hospitals, five schools, funeral parlours as well as government institutions in the region.

More than 34 000 masks and 700 sets of coveralls with hood and shoes were produced during this period, with the Cooperative creating employment for 14 seasonal workers.

KAIZEN Primary Cooperative is one of the Cooperatives that have benefitted from the aid offered by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation’s (ECDC) Imvaba Fund.

The Fund is structured to address challenges faced by Cooperatives in the Eastern Cape by assisting with access to markets, mentorship, working materials and assets, financial and training support.

“The ECDC approved R500 000 for the purchasing of industrial machines just in time for Kaizen to participate in the business opportunities presented by the pandemic,” says Simphiwe Ntshweni, ECDC Imvaba Fund Specialist.

Kaizen Primary Cooperative is a garment and fashion design business founded in 2015. The Cooperative owns a clothing line and label named “K – Classics” which caters for customers in different LSM groupings.

The brand has Platinum Collection which focuses on the brand conscious client; Gold Collection that focuses on the higher income individuals and Silver Collection which is a more affordable clothing line.

Arnold Petro Campher, the Chairperson of the Cooperative shares Kaizen’s plans of securing land to build a factory to meet the rising demand which needs more space for operations.

The factory will also house students from FET colleges and universities that are undergoing a Work-Integrated Learning Program offered by the Cooperative.

“Kaizen Primary Cooperative is one of the thriving Cooperatives supported by the ECDC’s Imvaba Fund,” says Simphiwe Ntshweni .

“The Fund promotes the sustainability of the Cooperatives in the province and it gives the ECDC pleasure to see Kaizen, a small business operating in a rural area with less employment opportunities increase their profit margins and create employment especially for women during such a difficult time.”

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