Luther C Diedericks
I have been researching the Municipal area of Saldanha since late 2016 intending to promote economic development through entrepreneurship. The project was initiated with a youth leadership development project with Agriculture as the main theme on the Windstone Farm. Unfortunately, the severe drought at that time shuttled the project. My son was invited to establish a bakery in Hopefield resulting therein that we relocated there in November 2017.
What a surprise to find this lovely town still a Cinderella waiting to become a Princess.
Research revealed that in 1995, 25 years ago, the community of Hopefield formulated the following inspiring vision: “Hopefield, the most sought after and prosperous developed visit/stay/work town with a friendly, proud, sharing and contributory community for the benefit of all.” The town also formulated 20 objectives as a mission to move towards this vision. Nonetheless, the 20 objectives still being relevant, it was sadly never accomplished.
We found that only a few groups that existed or started this inspiring vision are still active, most have given up hope. Even those still active are taking strain and battling to engage their membership and community.
To address this, I formulated “The Hope Initiative” which consists of structures and processes to facilitate the collaboration between groups and to start, develop and support the various parts of the local Social and Economic Ecosystem.
We will also facilitate an advisory forum for our member organisations to enable collaboration to unleash synergy and to identify collective projects which we will seek funding for and manage.
“The Hope Initiative” will eventually result in a thriving town with community involvement. I, however, realised that implementing it here would be difficult in the absence of a functional entrepreneurial ecosystem within a supported social developmental environment. In my research of the environment of one of the seven towns, Hopefield, I developed a socio-economic development solution to grow the town and its people as a model to expand to the surrounding towns.
Theory of Change: Connect, empower, transform
Small-scale entrepreneurs are connected and empowered to pool their strengths and form strong member-based organisations. Together they build a society where everyone can make their dreams a reality in their community.