Johannesburg, 19 June 2017 – JRP Socder Projects is a social enterprise providing entrepreneurship programmes to local women by facilitating business development, support, optimisation, coaching as well as incubation for potential and existing small women-owned businesses. The 100% black woman owned business was founded in 2014 by sisters Jayshree Padayatchey and Radika Patel.
Padayatchey’s passion for empowering women is undeniable. After working in finance at Telkom for 15 years, she resigned to start the business with her sister. “I guess my enthusiasm for empowering women to drive their own economic development was greater than my need to be in a corporate environment,” she says.
JRP Socder Projects primarily works with women in townships and informal settlements. Padayatchey emphasizes that real change starts with focusing on the individual and making them realise that they have the power to empower themselves. “Our main drive is on motivating, mobilising and ensuring that women-driven businesses become the best they can be. We have strong networks such as clients and partners in both corporate and government institutions that support and assist us in ensuring that our projects create maximum impact where it is needed most,” she explains.
She adds that through these collaborations and the intense commitment to being the best in their field, they have created a strong reputation in the market to be the preferred organisation that develops female entrepreneurs to become sustainable, highly impactful and successful by operating at the next level of micro franchising.
Padayatchey on successes and challenges…
Padayatchey counts driving the micro franchising concept as a solution for poverty alleviation in South Africa through working closely with the Department of Trade & Industry for the past five years in drafting a micro franchising policy one of her successes.
She hosted three micro franchising launches on behalf of The Townships Project and The Department of Trade & Industry to identify successful businesses that could go on to be up-scaled and replicated. One of the businesses that was identified is Maid4u – a professional domestic service recruitment and training agency that has won multiple awards and now provides franchise opportunities.
The entrepreneur says getting into the market and gaining respect and trust from corporates to roll out programmes has been a challenge. However, they won’t be deterred and will continue to face obstacles head on. Padayatchey says working with her sister has also been a bonus as they share a close relationship and rely on each other. Patel has over 15 years’ experience in event management and stakeholder engagement. She’s responsible for the event management and administration of the workshops.
Current projects and future plans
JRP Socder Projects is currently in the process of empowering 60 women by creating 10 co-operative businesses in Diepsloot and a further 100 women in Lotus Gardens through the same process. The businesses that will be formed are community-based such as supermarkets, catering outlets, bakeries, retail clothing, sewing co-operatives, internet cafes as well as beauty spas and hair salons.
Padayatchey says now that they’re situated at Riversands Incubation Hub, it’ll be much easier to facilitate their programmes. Not only will they have access to the business incubator’s facilities but they’ll be much closer to the women they train.
The businesswoman says their future plans include getting more projects to grow the business to empower more women. With organisations such as JRP Socder Projects, our country is headed in the right direction.
By Simangele Mzizi