Empowering Women


IDC Partners to Manufacture Sanitary Towels in Qgeberha

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has partnered with Metro Women Secondary Co-operative (MWSC) to support their Sanitary Towel Manufacturing Project, based in Qqeberha in the Eastern Cape Province.  IDC’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) department is providing funding to enable the Nelson Mandela University Business School to provide business training and mentorship training for the co-operative.

The MWSC was established in 2018 to pursue business opportunities within the automotive and manufacturing sector. From 85 members in 2018, today, the co-operative has 65 members. The co-operative group comprises 65 black women who are mainly over 35 who are either unemployed or in temporary employment positions.

‘Advancing inclusive economic activity and funding women entrepreneurs is core to the IDC’s mandate. The corporation is purposeful in supporting initiatives empowering women, especially young black women. This project was perfectly suited for us to get involved in. It empowers women by creating sustainable jobs for them and producing a product that will enable young girls and women to access much needed products. Many girls lose valuable school time due to a lack of sanitary towels, and this need can be alleviated through this project,’ says Tshepo Ramodibe, Head of Corporate Affairs at the IDC.

“We are very excited to partner with the IDC and the business school as this partnership will help our organisation to grow holistically, with very beneficial long-term results for us,’ says founder, Nomazwi Rosellinah Klaas from MWSC.

The NMU Business School primarily aim to assist the co-operative in enhancing their skills through training. Additionally, the secondary objective is to build an entrepreneurship eco-system in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the province.

‘Through this eco-system, we will be able to explore the possibility of firming up collaboration amongst local entrepreneurs to encourage localisation and for them to share their resources and join forces to achieve common goals,’ adds Director of the Business School, Dr Randall Jonas.

In this context, the Business School has developed an integrated programme that aims to develop the business acumen of entrepreneurs and enterprises in the township, emerging and priority sectors of the economy, but to build resilience through business-to-business coaching initiatives.

The Business School has also agreed with the Automotive Industrial Development Centre (AIDC) Eastern Cape (EC) to provide manufacturing industry-specific coaching support and mentorship sessions to businesses taking part in the programme, further encouraging upliftment and empowering women in manufacturing.

Manufacturing Industry-specific coaching support and mentoring will be provided by the AIDC EC team, who are experts in the following fields of manufacturing:

  • Production Processes
  • Business set up and processes
  • Quality Production and Systems
  • Process and Efficiency improvements
  • Leadership and Support Services (soft related areas)

Pictured above : Stakeholders from the IDC, Nelson Mandela University Business School and the Metro Women Secondary Co-Op meeting at the Business School in preparation for the launch of the IDC Metro Women Secondary Co-op Development Programme.