Dudu Ngubane’s dream of turning her clothing manufacturing company into an international brand was crushed when her business lost R300 000 worth of equipment in the unrest and looting that ripped through parts of South Africa in July 2021.
Durban-based Ngubane owns DU Confidence Designs, which specialises in modern African print wear for fuller-figured women.
The company is now back to full operation, thanks to the R230 000 in funding Ngubane received from the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa), of which 60% was a non-repayable grant and 40% was a loan.
“I am excited to be fully operational, following access to Sefa’s finance programme,” she says. “Through the support I have received, I have retained eight staff and employed six more people,” adds Ngubane.
After receiving the grant in December 2021, she bought 12 sewing machines, fabric, and branding material.
Ngubane is part of the eThekwini Municipality’s uMkhumbane Entrepreneurial Support Centre, which assists small businesses to apply for funding through Sefa.
As part of the programme, last year she was selected as one of 10 entrepreneurs who were profiled on Hustlers Corner on Business Day TV (DStv channel 412).
The profiles were facilitated by the municipality’s Business Support, Tourism, Markets, and Agri-Business Unit to promote local products to a wider audience.
Ngubane says the exposure she enjoyed as a result of her TV appearance helped her business to grow. She was also given the opportunity to expose her work at the 2021 Durban Business Fair.
DU Confidence clothing can be found at The Space stores at Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Durban, Mall of Africa and Rosebank Mall in Gauteng, and Cavendish Square in Cape Town. The Space enables Africa’s most talented fashion designers to showcase their products at top malls.
Nonduduzo Ngcongo works for the eThekwini Municipality.
For more information about Sefa funding, contact 012 748 9600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org