NEF helps grow black-owned furniture manufacturers 

The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has given a major boost to a 100% black-owned and 65% youth-owned furniture manufacturing business with a substantial financial injection. 

Landa Homeware was established in 2020 after it identified a gap in the supply of high-end and modern furniture items that are affordable for the everyday consumer. 

“We initially traded imported goods, however, the demand for the products grew and we established a manufacturing operation in Johannesburg. We set ourselves apart from our competitors by manufacturing trendy products that are still novel to the country. We source most of our orders online,” said Landa Homeware co-founder Silubonile Ngqandu. 

 The NEF’s strategic projects fund manager, Cornelius Mdluli, said the organisation’s investment would facilitate the expansion of Landa Homeware’s operations.  

“The funds will go towards acquiring capital equipment and bolstering working capital. They will bring critical manufacturing processes in-house and invest in essential equipment as they aim to streamline production time lines and enhance cost efficiencies.”  

Currently employing eight individuals including skilled carpenters, welders, a seamstress and administrative personnel, Landa Homeware’s partnership with the NEF is poised to create an additional 10 direct jobs. 

“The partnership between the NEF and Landa Homeware stands as a testament to the transformative power of youth-led entrepreneurship. 

The furniture industry is labour-intensive and has the potential to create many jobs and replace substantial imports. Over 10 000 jobs have been lost in the industry over the last 10 years and more than half of the businesses in this sector have closed down, underlining the need for more support for the industry. 

Through the government’s Master Plan for the Furniture Industry, the door has been opened for local manufacturers to identify opportunities in the production of office and school furniture among the designated products for preferential procurement purposes.  

To support this objective, the NEF is providing business loans to the industry for a maximum of R5-million per transaction. 

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