“Investing in women is smart economics, and investing in girls, catching them upstream is even smarter economics.” – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of World Trade Organization
There is no better day than November 19th to talk about Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and Blossom Care Solutions. As one of South Africa’s most impactful programs, Blossom has demonstrated how important developmental issues affecting young girls and women in South Africa can be effectively addressed and sustained through a focused entrepreneurship and development model that creates jobs for women and over time establishes small female-led micro-enterprises.
Established in 2019, Blossom is a mission-centric social enterprise that exists to do the following across South Africa:
· Eliminate period poverty and improve development outcomes for girls in grades 5-12.
· Create jobs that are sustainable that are focused on a deliberate women-centered approach.
· To establish small, women-led businesses via their social franchise model.
The financial inability to afford sanitary products, coupled with a lack of knowledge about menstruation is called period poverty. According to Africa Check, approximately 2.8 million young girls and women in South Africa are affected by period poverty. An estimated 30% of females in grades 5-12 miss school every month between two to four days (Study: Stellenbosch University). The overall impact of period poverty presents obstacles in the learning and development of these young girls and women.
There is a critical need for increased levels of entrepreneurship and small business in South Africa – particularly from women. To grow the economy, South Africa needs jobs to be created. Research has shown that women-owned businesses tend to be more profitable than those run by men. In South Africa, women must cope with negative prevailing social and cultural attitudes, lack of education and training, as well as gender discrimination. In addition, the lack of access to finance, low levels of human capital and a general lack of structured support networks, means that SA lags in the number of female entrepreneurs compared to other developing nations.
Blossom exists to provide local solutions to these problems.
Since their launch in 2019, they have established six mini factories located across five of South Africa’s provinces. They have created a total of 49 jobs for young female entrepreneurs and through the Blossom schools’ program, a total of 23,500 young girls are receiving free pads every month along with the vital menstrual health education they need.
“Since I got this opportunity, I can now contribute in the house. I can buy certain things that are needed. I no longer depend on anyone to buy me certain things I want or need,” states Mpho Sweetness Msuli.
Let’s all continue to lift up and empower the women of our generation. To learn more about Blossom, or support the young women of South Africa for years to come go to http://www.blossomcare.co.za/?utm_source=EC%20Blog&utm_medium=Website&utm_campaign=Blossom%20Care%20Solutions