Crafters set to plug into niche market

The Old Mutual Foundation has invested extensively in Product-2-Market, which aims to link South Africa's formal and informal economies.

The Old Mutual Foundation has invested extensively in Product-2-Market, which aims to link South Africa's formal and informal economies.

This will give corporate gift buyers access to local handmade products and provide the country's talented crafters with an entry to this major niche market.

Until now, poor communication between corporate buyers and craft producers has been a major obstacle to trade, and has often led to buyers sourcing elsewhere.

Craft producers, often based in townships or remote rural areas, have limited logistical know-how and support and corporate gift buyers are understandably concerned about their orders being fulfilled.

Buyers recognise the value of locally produced crafts, but they lack the time and resources to ensure fulfilment.

Product-2-Market provides crafters with logistical support and access to product development and training while offering buyers an efficient, reliable point of contact through which bespoke gifting solutions can be developed, ordered and delivered on time and to specification.

The GIFT showroom also provides last minute solutions with ready-made gift items off-the-shelf.

From arts to cricket: Old Mutual South Africa managing director Paul Hanratty recently donated R500000 to Makhaya Ntini's cricket academy in Chintsa Estate in the Eastern Cape.

The money was made available from the chairman's fund of the foundation and aims to harness the power of sport for nation building.

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