Our focus for our SewBoss Network for 2021 is to help them take their businesses to the next level. With technology becoming such an important aspect in all industries, we want to ensure our SewBosses are equipped and ready to adapt. We have developed our very own SewBoss App that provides them with access to Business Support Tools, Training, Tutorials, Job Opportunities, an invoicing system, an online sewing shop for us to be able to get them basic sewing equipment during their weekly deliveries, project feedback, and even holistic life tools (GBV support and Home-based exercises!) – all in the palm of their hands!
The cost of smart phones to run the app, however, is often prohibitive. This excludes most of the world from gaining access to the many other business support apps available as well. Thanks (in part) to funding provided by the National Arts Council, we were able to procure 100 smart phones to distribute to our SewBoss Network! Many of our SewBosses either didn\’t have a smart phone to run the app, or didn\’t have a phone at all – having to share with a family member or neighbor instead. This created significant barriers to being able to grow their business and interact professionally with prospective clients. Now that they have their very own smart phone and the training to utilize these tools, they are able to communicate quickly and effectively with clients and suppliers, create professional digital invoices, access business support tools and even use the high quality camera on the phone to take better pictures of their product!
Our Field Logistics Coordinator that visits the SewBosses at their homes every week to assist with deliveries and support also carries a mobile wifi hotspot to assist with data-heavy activities that needs to be carried out.
We distributed the phones in April along with basic training on how to use the support tools and apps and have had such incredible feedback from our SewBosses! We are looking to expand this opportunity and create a more robust open-source training app and network for a wider range of entrepreneurs and artisans in the future. Please consider donating towards this project (donation box in right sidebar- donations are Section 18A tax deductive for South African tax payers).