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67 Small South African businesses selected for inspiring Mandela Day initative

Nelson Mandela believed in making a positive change in the world – using your actions to have a strong and lasting impact! This is what inspired Colourworks and Designers Ink to spearhead the 67 Logos project.

This is an initiative that will see designers and established businesses assisting up and coming SMEs in fast tracking their businesses. SMEs were called upon to register for selection and now 67 SMEs have been chosen to receive a uniquely crafted logo and brand collateral – as well as additional business services. The 67 designers onboard will meet with the SMEs for brainstorming at the end of June. Presentations and the handover of the logos will happen on 18 July: Nelson Mandela Day.

The presentation date of the 67 Logos Designathon is significant, honouring former President Nelson Mandela, who gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. Nelson Mandela Day calls on South Africans to contribute 67 minutes of their time to making the South Africa a better place. In the spirit of Nelson Mandela and his belief of spreading social justice, this is an opportunity for your company to become part of a real endeavour towards Enterprise Development.

‘If all businesses use this special day, and – through this initiative – invest time and capital helping other people expand or improve their businesses, we will make some headway to long term economic freedom, something Mandela would have been proud of,’ said Lesley Waterkeyn, Founder and CEO of Colourworks. There are a variety of ways to get involved. The business boot camp training programme that the SMEs will go on, and offered by Over the Rainbow, usually costs R10 000 a participant, but the company is working on offering it at a cost price of R6 700 per participant (at no cost to the SMEs). They are calling on other small, medium and big businesses to pledge what they can to sponsor the cost of the SME training.

‘This innovative idea, which will see local designers give so much more than 67 minutes, is set to harness a unique and professional brand identity for each and every SME selected. This is beyond dedicating just 67 minutes to making a change, this is about sustained change,’ said Samantha Gabriel, Group MD of Designers Ink. ‘Through the power of design, we want to make a difference that lasts a lifetime,’ added Waterkeyn.

With sustainability a key focus of the Designathon, the selected 67 SMEs will each receive a logo, a mini-brand identity, a two-day business boot camp training programme, a registered web domain and free web hosting for 67 weeks – all at no costs to the SMEs. The package is now valued at R40 000 – a price that is most likely way out of the reach for start-up entrepreneurs.

Colourworks and Designers Ink have brought together some of the most creative teams in the country to design these brand identities and logos, while generous companies like 1-grid and Over the Rainbow have come forward to offer web hosting and business training respectively. However, they would like to do more and are calling on other businesses to be part of this important collaboration and celebrate this Mandela Day by driving creativity and investment into these SMEs.

‘Many successful South African business started as entrepreneurial entities – my business included. The reality is that our youth unemployment rate is mind boggling and the only way out of this darkness is job creation by SMEs. However, these SMEs need support – both from government and the private sector. This project is our way of banding together successful small and medium businesses and corporates – many of which were also started by entrepreneurs –and assisting in a sustainable way,’ said Waterkeyn.

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