Twelve South African fashion industry creatives have been selected to participate in the Threads Accelerator programme, which kicked off in October.
The creatives were selected from over 400 entries received across the country and they will participate in the inaugural Threads programme.
The programme will take place over a 12-week duration in classroom hubs in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town and Joburg.
According to the organisers, the selected creatives represent the inspiring diversity of the South African fashion aesthetic.
It is conceptualised to support emerging fashion entrepreneurs in transforming their businesses into powerful, profitable fashion brands.
Tania Habimana, co-founder of the Threads programme, said selecting the finalists from the deluge of entries they received was thrilling and somewhat overwhelming.
“The creativity in the South African fashion industry is world class. All that these entrepreneurs really need is the vital sales, administrative, financial and marketing rigour that’ll take their businesses to the next level,” said Habimana.
“We at Threads, along with our sponsor, Standard Bank and our partner, Mercedes-Benz, we’re happy to commence this journey with these very deserving entrepreneurs.”
The creatives will participate in the programme, the curriculum of which was co-created with the e4 Impact Foundation, an initiative of the Universita Cattolica of Milan, which focuses on impact entrepreneurship.
The curriculum covers the broad swathe of business operations, including financing and retaining employees, lean manufacturing, eCommerce and specialised procurement methods and marketing.
Habimana said at the conclusion of the 12-week programme, the creatives will present their new business models to the panel of judges, businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo, branding guru Timothy Maurice Webster, creative Jacqui Burger, CEO of online retailer Spree, Vincent Hoogduijin and Maxhosa fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo.
Habimana said, “The participant that the panel of judges ultimately selects as the winner will receive a package of prizes that’s designed to set them up for sure success – a Mercedes-Benz ambassadorship, which will see them driving a brand-new vehicle for a year-long period, a Standard Bank curated SME start-up pack and an international trade trip to Europe, where they’ll present their businesses to wholesale buyers and retailers, a high-impact private distribution network and attend industry trade fairs.”
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