Bridgement + The Slow Fund: Meet Thabang Mafela
By Lorin M|
November 12, 2021
In partnership with the Slow Fund, we’re incredibly excited to announce that Thabang Mafela, founder of Hokae Mobile Billboards, is the second of four entrepreneurs to win a R20 000 interest-free, fee-free business loan from Bridgement.
Hokae Mobile Billboards
Launched by Thabang during the peak of Covid in 2020, Hokae Mobile Billboards is not only in the business of outdoor mobile marketing and advertising operating in Ekurhuleni, but also a delivery service available to those living in Thabang’s community. How is one entrepreneur able to do both? Thabang created a mobile billboard that’s able to hold small loads within an enclosed container, mounted directly onto a tricycle.
In order to bring this business to life, Thabang had to think outside of the box. “The first phase was to convert a normal 26 inch mountain bike into a tricycle,” he explains. “I had to find an individual within my community who has the required skills to do the conversion. This process was initially started by a boilermaker, then later I had to hire another individual in order to ensure that the drive-train and chains function as desired.”
With Steers and Milky Way recently signing up with Hokae for flyer drop campaigns, Thabang is excited for what’s to come and plans to expand his business with another advertising and delivery trike. “I foresee an increased demand for the emerging service,” he says.
The Slow Fund
The Slow Fund is an initiative which helps budding entrepreneurs launch small businesses by offering free funding to an entrepreneur every day for a year to cover initial start-up costs or provide a cash injection.
Bridgement has partnered with the Slow Fund and is giving a R20 000 interest-fee, fee-free business loan to the top Slow Fund entrepreneur each quarter, with Thabang being the second recipient. Along with the loan, the winning entrepreneurs will also get a free payment holiday of up to six months to give them enough time to put the funding to work in their business.
It’s not something exclusive to our shores (especially these days unfortunately), as across the world many small businesses struggle to get going and stay going, but stats show that most South African startups aren’t able to keep the doors open past the three-year mark. Like in many new businesses around the world, most South African…
2021 is just about a thing of the past and while we could reflect on all that’s happened in the last 12 months (let alone the last 24), we chose to rather look ahead. And indeed you can’t have one without the other, our past defines our future and the two are inextricably linked –…