Like most South Africans, Pfarelo Tshivhase’s life has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The 29-year-old worked as a clerk for a travel company but because the industry is badly affected by the global pandemic and the lockdown regulations introduced to slow infections, Tshivhase was retrenched in May.
Fortunately, she and her cousin Sandra Nemutamba (21) had already started a business called Sanrelo-sweetcorner, which produces cakes for various occasions, scones, muffins and cookies.
“We established our business this year with the little funds we had. I invested my savings and Sandra used a portion of the excess funds she had from her bursary,” she explains.
“The business was inspired by the passion we have for baking, the fear of not having an extra income, as well as not having something valuable and sustainable to our name,” she adds.
In the beginning, Tshivhase and Nemutamba shared their vision with close friends and family members, who supported them. They started baking on a small scale and sold their products to friends and family.
They gained confidence over time and started posting their work on social media. Before they knew it, orders started coming through from various people.
“We designed a professional logo and branded our business to give our customers and target audience the confidence that we are indeed providing uncompromised quality,” says Tshivhase.
She says starting a business during these difficult times was challenging but with economic activity starting to pick up, things are getting better.
The business follows all National Department of Health and World Health Organisation guidelines to protect themselves and their customers from COVID-19. “We have improved our hygiene routine by not taking cash but use various digital payment options and we ensure that we sanitise at all times,” she says.
The business operates in Gauteng and Limpopo, where the two young women live.
To anyone experiencing retrenchment or unemployment, Tshivhase says: “Through this time of economic downturn, you are your biggest asset. Everyone has a talent; look into that talent and find ways to sustain yourself.”
Tshivhase holds a diploma in marketing management and Nemutamba recently completed a BCom Economics and Econometrics from the University of Johannesburg.
For more information about Sanrelo-sweetcorner visit its Facebook page@sanrelo-sweetcorner and Instagram @sanrelo-sweetcorner