SUCCESS STUDY #2
In 2015, Nomsa Phafana looked around her Vlakfontein neighbourhood and decided that it was in desperate need of a garden: a special garden where children could grow and learn safely. She started Little Flower Daycare and - with help and investment from the KYB Incubator - she too has grown from strength to strength alongside the children in her care. Here is her story in her words...
Opening Little Flowers Daycare was more about making a difference to my community than about creating a business for myself. I live in Vlakfontein, a township south of Soweto, and I felt helpless looking around and seeing the young, vulnerable children of young, inexperienced mothers spending all their time roaming the streets exposed to very real dangers.
I decided to make a difference to my community and start my own daycare service. I began my business with 6 children in my lounge, moving furniture around and making the small changes needed to make the area a safe space. Wanting to protect children from any harm and harsh conditions was my main drive when I started and that has never changed.
I was introduced to KYB Incubator by my coach, Noloyiso, and qualified for a monthly stipend of R1000 for my business for 12 months. This enabled me to add another room to my new premises and to build toilets. I bought more educational charts and toys for the children. This stipend also came to my financial rescue as I used it as part of my own salary.
After one year, my church recognised the great work I was doing and they bought me a 2 bedroom shack for my yard, which was such a blessing! I couldn’t have afforded to buy this using the fees that parents were paying.
I have learnt so many business lessons as I have grown. There have been whole months when not a single child came to Little Flowers because their parents couldn’t pay the R200 per child monthly fee. I have had to learn to save and budget for those hard times to cover running costs like buying food for the children, which is included in their monthly fee.
I recently opened a business account and parents deposit the fees directly into it. I cannot access this money anytime I please because it’s not mine - it belongs to the business. When I need it, I have to put in a notice and give reasons why I need it before I get it. This alone has improved my money-saving knowledge and skills. By organising day trips for the children (which they love!) I have learnt all about fundraising and how important it is to advertise your business in your neighbourhood.
I want to grow my business and I have many ideas on how to make this happen. With a bigger space and more children I can employ an assistant. I would sell uniforms in order to raise money to prepare children for grade R. Offering a night care facility for children whose parents work night shifts would be something to consider.
This business is giving me so much more than just the joy of looking after the children and seeing them develop positively. I have become a better mother to my own children. I understand that just because the children are small it doesn’t make them any less human than we are - they want to be heard and understood.
For more information, contact Khanyisile Kgatla
or call 011.351.1551