Just more than a year after the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Mzansi, black-owned hospitality businesses can finally apply for much-needed funding. This could be a game-changer for struggling restaurants, catering companies and accommodation establishments.
Through the Sekela hospitality support programme, businesses can receive up to R2 million a year to put businesses back on the road to success.
Described as “a holistic, phased programme”, Sekela is a partnership between food services brand Marvello and RCL Foods’ Your Food Partners and Bidfood. Together, they will provide businesses back-of-house training, business coaching and access to capital.
A much-needed lifeline
RCL Foods’ Your Food Partners channel marketing executive, Edwin Ukama, says like most countries, South Africa cannot afford for the failure of its hospitality industry.
“The industry has endured blow after blow during the pandemic with the international travel ban, curfew, recurring alcohol bans, maximum capacity and social distancing restrictions all coming into play,” Ukama states.
“We wanted to do our part and bring a solution to the fore where we can help drive a positive change and see business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their true potential.”
Your Food Partners produces a wide range of food solutions and serves a multitude of businesses in different channels from quick-service restaurants, contract caterers, hotels, delis and bakeries.
How it works
The first funding phase will allow up to 50 successful applicants to join the programme during which they will receive a 10%-purchase discount on any food order placed through Bidfood.
In phase two, qualifying beneficiaries will receive relevant training and business coaching. This will be followed by essential financial assistance and support planning and business profiling.
Perpetua Ngulube, brand manager of Marvello and Meadowland, says they are looking forward to hearing from business owners.
“With this programme, we aim to bring much-needed life, passion and positivity back into the hospitality industry and help shape dynamic business leaders,” says Perpetua.
Ensuring business sustainability
The brands say they are committed to supporting their loyal customers and the hospitality industry during these unprecedented times.
Meanwhile Siqalo Foods urges people to use this opportunity to sustain their hospitality businesses.
In order to qualify, applying businesses must meet a particular set of criteria. The recruitment drive will end on Friday, 30 April 2021. Applications can be submitted at www.sekelahsp.co.za.