De Beers Enterprise Development Project for Diamond Beneficiators – Year 2
At De Beers, the concept of “Building Forever” describes the commitment to creating a lasting positive legacy, both through its own activities and by working in partnership with others to find solutions to some of the most significant challenges we collectively face.
In order to facilitate the growth and transformation of the South African diamond industry, De Beers has embarked on the Enterprise Development Project for Diamond Beneficiators.
The holistic development approach of the project seeks to optimise interventions in all aspects of the diamond pipeline from rough diamond purchasing, state of the art manufacturing to marketing and distribution.
Diamond cutting and polishing is a science, an art, a passion – the turning of an ancient resource into something truly brilliant. The project gives South Africans the opportunity to play their part in unlocking the beauty and everlasting value from their most precious natural resource.
The intention is to change perceptions, prove that barriers to entry can be overcome, build sustainable businesses that will live long into the future.
Business incubator specialists, Raizcorp, have been working with the five selected enterprises since January 2016, providing training in business skills and entrepreneurial development. All 5 companies graduated from their first year of the programme, recording significant business growth during the period.
The Project Members
Molefi Letsiki Diamond Holdings – Molefi Letsiki
“The project has been really great for my business, opening doors to markets with its consistent and predictable supply.
Raizcorp has help me see how to run a successful business by putting systems in place, have policies, set targets and work towards achieving them, ensuring that I build a marketable, fundable and sustainable business.
Since the inception of the program our business has grown its turnover, staff and even moved to new and bigger premises. I truly believe is just a matter of time before we become a force to be reckoned in the diamond industry.”
Nungu Diamonds – Kealeboga Pule
“My self-confidence and my business has grown exponentially in the past eighteen months, with more yet to follow. The journey remains a challenging one, but each day is as rewarding.
The project has helped me develop an overall vision for my business and identify potential growth opportunities.
At Nungu Diamonds our diamonds no longer only represent ‘a promise of forever’ – they also embody the essence of a union: a friendship, a marriage, companionship, and a link to the related socio-economic benefits that diamonds bring to my country.”
Kwame Diamonds – Jo Mathole, Khomotso Ramodipa
“Consistency of supply is the key to the growth of any diamond polishing company, but the project has also opened doors that we could never have done as a small company on our own.
The assistance we are getting will enable us to achieve our vision of being a major international diamond industry player, the first to be 100% African Women owned.”
Thoko’s Diamonds – Thoko Zwane, Zipho Dlamini
“My (Thoko’s) journey started when I became a diamond polisher as a teenager in KZN and subsequently starting my own business at the Velani Hive diamond incubator.
The project will enable my business to grow sustainably and allow me to leave a lasting legacy in the industry – a legacy that has already begun with the introduction of my son into the business.”
Diamonds Africa – Munirah Desai
“The project has allowed me to fulfil my passion and dreams, ignited when I saw my first diamond.
My business is now run in a more systematic, structured manner, one that will assist in its development and future growth.”
2017 Hong Kong Gem and Jewellery Show
The Project Members participated at the 2017 Hong Kong Gem and Jewellery Show held during September.
They formed part of the South African Pavilion, a venture jointly sponsored by De Beers and the State Diamond Trader.
Participation at such events plays an important role in the marketing and distribution strategy of the project, by giving the Project Members access to the international markets and the opportunity to develop contacts and clients for their polished diamonds.
Although trading conditions were tough, with plenty of competition, the Project Members were able to complete sales and identify future potential opportunities.
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