Inspired by the challenges she faced starting a baking business in 2007, Thuli and her husband Milton were encouraged to start Bakerpreneurs SA, a closed Facebook group for small bakeries across the country. Bakerpreneurs SA as been holding two conference for bakers every year since its inception in 2017. The conference, Bakers Business indaba (BBI is a platform that encourages home bakers to interact, refine their skills and learn more about the tricks and trade of the baking industry. The duo in partnership with SEDA, FNB, Global 67, BICSA, SASKO, Kenwood and Sweet Refreshment held their fourth BBI at the SEDA offices in Arcadia on Saturday October 19th. 

Thuli who started her business, The Cake Zone SA, from her kitchen said “I hope that the attendees learn the importance of financial discipline and that they are encouraged to turn their passion into profitable businesses”. A lot of Small Micro Enterprises (SMEs) are forced to close down because of the lack of financial knowledge. Tshepo Ntlamelle of FNB describes business as a continuous exchange of money and services between the service provider and the customer. He emphasized the importance of financial literacy and knowing the difference between personal and business finances. He also shared information on the various packages that FNB offers in assisting SME’s grow their businesses.

After equipment demonstration by Kenwood, the South African Bakers Association shared information about the association. A first ever platform for craft bakers in South Africa established in 2016 for bakers by bakers. The association offers support, training and recognition of South African bakers and confectioners. The attendees were then delighted to a demonstration and playful time of biscuit decoration by BICSA a NGO that runs a baking and food technology program in partnership with SEDA, DGRV (German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation) and SACB (South African Chamber of Baking).

The event was not just a success based on the number of turnouts but a day well spent as indicated by Kgomotso Baloyi who just started her baking business in May 2019.  “I enjoyed the interaction and networking with other bakers like myself. I’m inspired and encouraged that starting small is a good thing. What I take from this event is managing my business well so I’ll be opening a business account and registering with SEDA for their business boost program” says Kgomotso. “The next event of BBI will be in March 2020 and promises to be bigger and better as we build and grow a network of bakers in South Africa” says Thuli.

BY: Nomsa Madisa.

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