Lozien Jarvis

Women in Business

Nominee's Province:

Project Name/Description:
Equal ELM

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Manufacturing has traditionally been a male-dominated industry – less than one third of manufacturing employees are women. But even more damning is the small number of womenowned manufacturing enterprises across the country, according to a recent report by global accounting firm Deloitte. Though there have been improvements in recent years, women are still underrepresented in the manufacturing sector. It is this skewed and disproportionate ownership representation that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – as part of its mandate – has committed to change. And post the new democratic dispensation, the IDC has been a trailblazer in the women’s economic empowerment landscape, helping to fund and establish several successful womenowned enterprises. One such recent beneficiary of IDC funding is Equal ELM Trading – a black youth female-owned business. This business, based in Van Eck Park, Brakpan, is 100% owned by Lozien Jarvis, and it is her perseverance and knack to spot a business opportunity that enabled the creation of Equal ELM Trading. Her story fits hand in glove with the IDC’s ethos of supporting enterprises, which among other ideals seeks to strengthen the industrialisation of local economies. Jarvis traces her entrepreneurship journey to June 2018 when Power Protect (Pty) Ltd, which was a leading engine protection manufacturer that supplied engine protection and fleet management systems to the transport and mining industries, officially stopped trading due to a cash crunch exacerbated by a challenging economic environment. This development placed a number of jobs in jeopardy, including critical skills required in the local mining industry. “The perception that manufacturing is a preserve for men is a reason why some women shun this industry. Even more daunting for me is the fact that the demise of Power Protect in itself was proof that there was no basis for continuing with such a business,” says Jarvis. Power Protect’s demise suddenly created a gap in the market, prompting Jarvis to establish Equal ELM Trading. To achieve her objectives, Jarvis needed funding from an entity that would share in her long-term goals, hence the decision to approach the IDC for funding. This development not only helped retain jobs but preserved a combined 67 years of knowledge and experience. It is this experience that has helped the company maintain a competitive edge in a cut-throat business dominated by industry heavyweights. And IDC funding from the inception of Equal ELM Trading to a recent Covid-distress facility has been critical helping grow the company. “It helped that we had a base to start from, which was Power Protect – the old entity – but the fact that we were establishing a new company amidst a challenging economic environment could have put off potential investors. Yet, the IDC believed in our story, our passion and commitment to save jobs and preserve more than 67 years’ worth of experience,” says Jarvis. Equal ELM Trading’s products are compatible with numerous well-known truck brands such as FAW, MERC BENZ, MAN as well as “yellow” mining equipment such as BELL, CAT, KOMATSU, DEUTZ. Even more encouraging, all of Equal ELM’s electronic equipment and mechanical components are designed and manufactured in South Africa, and the assembly of the components into final products follows a strict quality assurance process. Jarvis is emphatic on the need for women to take up a leading role and become owners of manufacturing enterprises, saying economic transformation can only be fully realised if more women begin to own businesses in key sectors of the economy. “It is all about breaking down these ingrained stereotypes. We are grateful that the IDC came on board and believed in us.”


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