Entrepreneurs impacted by the recent country’s looting have been linked up with mentors to rebuild their livelihoods through an initiative called Restore SA.

Restore SA aims to connect small business owners affected by looting with volunteer mentors. The Restore SA initiative has also set up a fund to raise funds to assist affected businesses. 

The fund will be managed by partner non-profit Ranyaka Community Transformation, who will identify businesses in need of support and oversee the disbursement of funds. 100 percent of donations will go to the businesses owners. 

The idea was sparked by the founder of social enterprise initiative Fix Forward and the fund was launched in partnership with weFix, who will be donating 10% of the value of trade-in phones they receive in the coming months. Individuals, both locally and abroad have also pledged to donate..

“The informal economy employs millions of people and in a country plagued by high levels of unemployment, we need these affected businesses to rebuild and prosper,” explains Restore SA Founder Joshua Cox. “South Africans are heartbroken at the devastation which has unfolded.” 

“Many South African’s with various skills have reached out and want to support these business owners as they try to rebuild,” he adds. “Restore SA has been created to connect small business owners affected by looting with skilled people who freely offer mentorship support.” 

“When we heard about Restore SA, we saw an opportunity to support and help rebuild those businesses that had been affected by the unrest,” says Malcolm Daitz, CEO at weFix. “We believe that it is the responsibility of all South African businesses to help restore our economy by offering support to those entrepreneurs who need it.”
 
Daitz adds: “We are committed to donating 10% of the value of trade-ins we get toward the Restore SA fund and we are excited to see the impact that this initiative will have as we rebuild.”

“We have over one hundred mentors already on-board to offer support, we are hoping to increase this number exponentially in the coming weeks,” Cox explains. “In addition to this within days of launching twenty small-business owners received a mentor and have begun their rebuilding journey.”

Cox encourages small business owners to sign-up so they can receive the support they need from the Restore SA network. “Affected businesses who sign up will receive an hour or two a week of mentoring for at least two months.”

“It is hard to think about the heart-breaking situation that these entrepreneurs find themselves in, some have just started their business journeys, while others have been in the game for decades, the devastation is the same, livelihoods have been taken, jobs lost and an increasing uncertainty remains.”

“Between our mentors and small business owners we can dust off the hurt, the anger and the damages and move forward,” he says. “The addition of the fund that we launched today aims to give monetary support to those affected.”

Donate to the Restore SA fund here: www.restoresa.co.za/rsa-fund/ 

Small business owners and mentors can sign up at www.restoresa.co.za.