Finding black entrepreneurs through Melanoid Éclat
Creatives Bogosi Motshegwa (@Thinkerneur) and Ofentse Rangaka (@ofentserangaka) have launched a social media and event platform, Melanoid Éclat, in a bid to expose South Africans to black entrepreneurs who remain hidden on the outskirts of our economy.
“We believe that the economy is not expanding [to benefit black entrepreneurs] because money keeps going to the same people,” says Motshegwa. “If it starts to spread across; it will inevitably grow as these unknown entrepreneurs will be able to hire more people who, in turn, will be able to gain an income and spend their money.”
“Our events are free, held on the last Saturday of each month,” he continues. “On a Saturday, for many people, it is the day when they get to have time to themselves and family, relax and do what they love. For those who come to the event, I have nothing but utmost gratitude. It is incredible that they choose us. To get to the event, they either have to catch taxis, sometimes two, and use their own petrol and cars.”
Entry to an Melanoid Éclat event is free. For more details, follow Melanoid Éclat on Facebook.
What is Melanoid Éclat?
‘Melanoid’ is a derivative of melanin, quite self-explanatory, and ‘éclat’ means a state of brilliance in French. When you combine the two, the sentiment is that black people have innate brilliance. This is a positive-active statement to empower ourselves.
Simply, Melanoid Éclat is a platform that gives black entrepreneurs a platform to showcase themselves and their businesses to the masses, the objective being that they will in turn be financially supported so that they can grow.
Why Melanoid Éclat?
Statistically, black people are the biggest consumers, and the least producers. This is the root of most of our problems from an socio-economic point of view, and this is not rocket science. With this knowledge, it is only logical that you deal with the root, as opposed to the symptoms.
As a country, we speak about the problem of unemployment, and yet we are not really producing tangible solutions. Big corporates are exploiting people so, even if they employ more people, because they pay them less, the problem only exacerbates because the same employees get entangled and marinate in debt.
With Melanoid Éclat, we are trying to disperse the power. It is imperative that we start to spread the power by ensuring black people are not just consumers but also start to play a critical role as producers.
Small black entrepreneurs struggle to get funding from investors but, through Melanoid Éclat, we see the support they will receive as investment into them. The more we buy from them, the more they are able to grow. Our support is all the investment they need.
How is Melanoid Éclat brought to life?
We host four business owners or entrepreneurs per session, and they speak about themselves and their ventures. These are black entrepreneurs who are usually small but offer quality products and services.
The events are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. We implore people to attend as they will be exposed to these business owners and will be able to network, connect, and form new alliances that will be fruitful in future. We want to inspire and motivate.
How many events have we held so far?
We’ve held two events so far, on 27 May and 24 June 2017, respectively. These events have been nothing but inspirational and powerful.
The speakers we’ve hosted have businesses in diverse industries, from baking to industrial design. One of the speakers, Inga Gubeka, has created and patented a Vodka brand. He also mentors and empowers young people through education. Cake World, a company that produces confectioneries and bespoke birthday cakes, has landed a reality TV deal with one of the broadcasters. George Matsheke, who owns an online magazine, sends children to school through a bursary fund.
Our events take place every last Saturday of every month. You are all invited.
Our next event is a Women’s Month special edition. We have four amazing speakers who will blow our audiences away. It will take place at Asanka Restaurant, Rivonia Junction.
Currently, we alternate between Melville Grill Lounge in Melville and Asanka Restaurant in Rivonia. The reason we hold our events is so that people get exposed to different venues and hopefully they will return on their own to go and support. This forms part of our objective of helping increase awareness of small entrepreneurs who are most black and are on the fringes of the bigger economy.
We are always looking for fresh restaurant venues to host at. If you are that venue or know of any venue that fits our mission and values, please do contact us.