By: Tebogo Mokwena
According to the detergent manufacturer, Yonela Magadla, SMMEs in the sector need to be taught how to market and advertise their businesses. She said there was a desperate need for people with skills in the sector to help the growing number of would-be entrepreneurs who wanted to explore business opportunities. Magadla, who owns Refresher Detergents, is certified to provide training and certification for detergent manufacturing.
She told Vutivi News that there was still a massive knowledge gap in the sector. “I saw how young people in my area were fascinated by the process of manufacturing detergents,” Magadla said. “However, a lack of knowledge prevented many of them from knowing how to be equipped with these skills.” Magadla’s company, which is in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, manufactures pine gel, dishwashing liquid, soap powder, bubble bath, fabric softener and bleach. “We teach young people how to make these detergents and at the same time we teach them how to get opportunities by selling detergents,” she said.
“One of the many ways in which one can make money is to distribute their products through resellers in communities.” She said that SMMEs in the detergent sector should advertise more, and explore different ways of marketing their products. “In order for us to compete with reputable brands, we need to be aggressive in our marketing and ensure that the brand image matches the quality of the product,” the businesswoman said. “It is no longer enough to use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to advertise.” Magadla also called on the public and private sectors to provide training to young people in rural areas so they could manufacture detergents.
“Last year we had 147 students, and there was a passion about them that showed the potential for entrepreneurship in rural areas,” she said. “For them, escaping poverty is a mission and entrepreneurship is the only way out in a time when jobs are hard to come by.” Magadla also encouraged youngsters to consider manufacturing products as a revenue option. “The more young people manufacture these products, the more the market will be flooded by black-owned products,” she said.“Being a detergent manufacturer means you incorporate different business disciplines like sales and human resource, so your skill set also broadens.”