24/11/2017 12:38 SAST | Updated 24/11/2017 12:38 SAST

The People: SA's First Black-Owned Crowdfunding Platform

'Our primary objective is to use the buying power of the masses to build the economy one business at a time.'

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A group of pioneering young black entrepreneurs are working to create new opportunities for aspiring businesses who want to make a difference to their communities. Their solution is simple: they're asking for help, "from the people, for the people".

It began The People's Fund, an initiative founded by three separate black-owned companies -- Brownsense, The HookUp Dinner and Paybook -- who each asked "How do you finance a small business?" and "How do you give a returns to those financing a small business?"

The group looked to asset crowdfunding, whereby average people can buy an asset for an entrepreneur –– from as little a R1,000 –– and then be paid a royalty by the entrepreneur for the lifespan of that asset.

Currently, one of the campaigns running on the The People's Fund is a Buy-A-Beehive campaign, which asks investors to pay R1,200 for a beehive that will be owned by government bureaucrat-turned-beekeeper Mokgadi Mabela. The reward for those backing Mabela is R32.40 for every kilogram of honey harvested from the hives they have funded for the next six years -- it works out to a 16% annual return.

So far, Mabela has received R253,400 for her campaign from 112 backers.

"The passion and ingenuity of amazing entrepreneurs we have crossed paths with is why we are here," the fund says on its website. "We want people to have a meaningful and measurable impact on the economy they would like to see."