Women-led Canvas Manufactures have defied odds and managed to thrive a business in the dusty town of Gantsi.
Canvas Manufacturers currently manufactures canvas products like tents, duffel bags, toiletry bags, back packs, car covers, travel bags, camping chairs just to mention a few. The company has a huge clientele ranging from government departments, parastatals, private companies as well as individuals.
The company is owned by enterprising Oaitse Motoma and partner Goitsemodimo Shamokuni. Motoma told Monitor Business that they were fortunate to be the beneficiaries of the Gender Affairs Department (GAD). Their talents complemented their dream as Motoma has business skills whilst Shamokuni is good with the designing and making canvas products.
Motoma’s entrepreneurial journey dates back as 2010 when she was part of the fortunate aspiring entrepreneurs, which the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) incubated and offered training.
“LEA played a huge role in nurturing my business skills as they offered me training on enterprise development, business management as well as sales and marketing back then in 2010,” she said.
Then Motoma started her supplies business where she unearthed her new talent after realising that most of the orders people wanted canvas tents, camping chairs, bags, truck covers just to mention a few.
She said that buying them on behalf of the client did not give them profit hence the reason why she decided to also manufacture
Last year, she enrolled for the LEA programme where she acquired business proposal writing skills, which helped to realise her dream of manufacturing canvas.
“I was quick to do the business proposal course because we already had a business idea. We then dropped our proposal at GAD which then financed us in November last year,” she said. She said that reception has been good because they are servicing the same clientele that they have maintained over the years but now at a reasonable price. The passionate Motoma shared their dream of expanding their business and hiring more staff as well as registering with Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) under the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry (MITI) and Public Procurement Asset Disposal Board (PPADB).
“We want to have a brand for our products and increase our staff to meet the demand. Usually we take two to three days to manufacture a tent and a day for the other staff. The only huddle that we encounter is shortage of canvas locally, which we get in Maun and Gaborone. We sometimes order from the neighbouring countries like Namibia and South Africa,” she said.