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Boikano Sikwane (46) believes that it is important for South Africans to buy locally produced goods so that more jobs can be created and the economy can improve.
Sikwane is the owner of Chuck Chilli, a proudly South African company that produces a chilli condiment sold throughout the country.
From humble beginnings in her garage, Sikwane’s company now has 12 employees who work at the company factory three times a week.
“In a country where unemployment is so high, I wish that people could understand that by choosing a local product, we could save and make jobs.”
The bottles of chilli produced by Sikwane’s company are delivered either directly to customers or to retail stores including selected Spar, Food Lovers Market and Checkers shops and also the online shopping store, Takealot.
She explained that another benefit to consuming local products was that the standard of locally produced goods also improves.
“The more South Africans consume their products, manufacturers will also be forced to up their standards. The quality of the products will also improve.”
Sikwane added that her business received assistance from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) through its Technology Transfer Fund.
“I received equipment from Seda such as a bottle steriliser, bottle capper and fridges to run my business.”
Sikwane said she still receives food safety training from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) assisted Chilli Chuck with marketing her product.
This business is also featured on the Proudly South African website.
Sikwane advised other budding entrepreneurs to never lose sight of their goals.
“When I look back at when I started, I didn’t think that I’d be here today. All I had to do was put one step forward every day. Go for it and if you need help along the way, ask for it because you never know until you try it,” she said.