Small business owners in Kimberley said the pop-up market is an excellent way to showcase their products and grow the local economy.
EIGHTEEN small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs), ranging from diamond jewellery and accessories manufacturers to wine and gin makers and apparel designers, showcased their products at the first Pop-up Market at the Kimberley Diamond and Jewellery Centre on Heritage Day.
The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Kimberley Diamond and Jewellery Incubator (KDJI), Bonolo Moea, said the market served as a way to promote quality local products and services.
“The bulk of the exhibitors are from within the incubation programme. We were not strict on the selection as it is the very first time we exhibit. We wanted to lay the foundation and to show residents the products that are available in the city. There is no need for residents to search for quality products abroad or in other provinces. We have several businesses who can deliver to them right here in the Diamond City,” Moea said.
He noted that it was an opportunity to do away with the perception that products from other provinces or countries are of greater quality.
“We have diamond jewellers right here. There is a perception that local brands are of an inferior quality. People will be able to see that the products are of even greater quality than that they might buy elsewhere,” said Moea.
He added that they are looking at hosting the market on a monthly basis.
“If we can get more partners and stakeholders on board, then the city can host a monthly market where different exhibitors can display and sell their products. Our goal is to get a market for local businesses. This will boost the economy of the Province and provide employment to the youth as the majority of the incubators are youth,” said Moea.
The CEO of the Northern Cape Tourism Authority, Sharron Lewis, said the current pandemic conditions have led to the discovery of many “hidden gems”.
“Covid-19 has taught many businesses to think creatively and also forced locals to explore and find local businesses to supply their needs. This market has showcased many local businesses which we were not even aware were available in the Province,” said Lewis.
“The venue is also not fully utilised to its full capacity as there can be many more exhibitors including performances hosted at this venue. We can promote the work and talents of local artists and in return, locals can enjoy a relaxed day at the venue. That way we grow the economy and also show the talent and creativity of the city,” added Lewis.
Exhibitors said the market is an untapped opportunity that needs to be grown.
“Having pop-up markets is an inexpensive way to market local brands. Many business owners have to travel to other provinces such as Gauteng to showcase and sell their products. Many of our clients are from other parts of the country as local residents are not even aware of our existence. Through the pop-up markets we are able to get more exposure and support from residents,” said Rebaone Mabuthlwane, the owner of Lebone Artifice, a handmade accessories business.