Grassroots business connectors – the glue between local economic development and broad enterprise development.
Rural and peri-urban South Africa still brim with untapped opportunity, natural, social and financial resources: fertile agricultural land, a biodiversity of global fame, authentic indigenous cultures, human resources, clever home-brewed innovations and an abundance of sun, wind and minerals.
Very little is documented however and information on entrepreneurial activity from this sector is in extreme short supply. This is where REEDiSA’s local infopreneur networks operate.
Our infopreneurs are self-sustaining, non-political double-agents of economic change. We operate in local information networks through-out South Africa and our mission is to foster development through enterprise. We do it through skilled cross-cut networking between and amongst various social layers and business sectors.
Our main tools here are inTouch™ data processing and Outcomes Mapping, a growth and monitoring tool.
Our data processing system inTouch™
- is a powerful planning and clever report-back tool to ease this load in development work.
- is a handy tool to help focus business-strategies on priorities.
- Our infopreneur-networks gather answers to questions of a client’s choice and using InTouch™ we assist clients to convert data into intelligence for informed planning and decisions.
REEDiSA’s Infopreneurs are also trained to use the well proven Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Outcomes Mapping approach as a management tool to focus and monitor desired outcomes. Equally suitable for big development projects as well as small enterprises, this potent tool focuses behavior on specific outcomes. In a participatory development process in particular, buy-in of all stakeholders is often the most critical.
InTouch™ a scientific data processing tool
Difficult to capture, data and reliable information from rural and peri-urban areas is in extreme short supply if not non-existent in most regions. REEDiSA’s clients subscribe to our data processing system, inTouch™ to help them to extract market intelligence of their choice eg: how many jobs were created for women by small enterprises in Limpopo province in a given period.
inTouch™ is then applied to plan business- and development strategies from which a combination of reports can be drawn. With inTouch™ reports and planning become focused and aligned with a business’ strategy, and becomes easier and less time consuming. This function offers a reliable set of data on which responsible decisions could be based.
The same benefits are applicable to enterprises wishing to know and supply for specific needs and demands in rural communities and enterprises.
Once captured, inTouch™ process data for useful intelligence like for example:
- to determine the various relations between people, entities and things in a particular region.
- People or companies can be linked to these entities, things or resources that they are interested in. (These ‘things’ could be anything: from soccer fields, tourist attractions, minerals, hair salons, boreholes, clinics, fruit available to cattle dips).
Business, government departments, coops or NGO’s can benefit enormously from reliable local data being gathered by local infopreneurs – their intimate knowledge and their connectivity in local communities have proven to be extremely valuable.
inTouch™ allows development practitioners for example to:
- capture and manage development interventions,
- involve multiple users,
- apply digital media,
- compile reports and growth plans easily
and therefore becomes a grand management tool in any developmental or business and marketing environment.
REEDiSA supports users with in-house training for inTouch™.
The infopreneur network has the backing of and access to 30 years of the CSIR’s reputable research and experience in appropriate IT development for rural South Africa. (CSIR = Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)
Surveys of Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs)
Infopreneurs, for example, capture the following information about small and micro enterprises:
- GPS position,
- sector and subsector,
- people employed
- type of company,
- physical location,
- contact numbers,
- traditional authority and ward,
- problems experienced.
Our database programme can track growth, interventions and list the relevant products/services. The local Infopreneur offer services such as marketing/advertising, administration, basic bookkeeping and consulting in the villages or adjacent towns where they live.
Surveys of existing financial, social, human and natural capital in rural areas.
A further step is to survey financial capital of individuals, as well as the social and natural capital in their surroundings. These indicate the human, social and natural resources available in a particular area. Building on that information, specific support programmes can be tailored and implemented. At the moment we work with: Department of Science and Technology, Vhembe District Municipality, Univen, CSIR Meraka and we have worked on projects such as the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office database (NIKSO) and have done Small and Micro Enterprise data surveys in Makhado Local Municipality.
Our services can be applied in almost any field.
Outcomes Mapping a growth and monitoring tool of substance:
REEDiSA’s Infopreneurs are trained to use the well proven Canadian IDRC’s (International Development Research Centre) Outcomes Mapping approach as a management tool to focus and monitor desired outcomes. Equally suitable for big development projects as well as small enterprises, this potent tool focuses behavior on specific outcomes. In a participatory process in particular, buy-in of all stakeholders is often the most critical.
With Outcomes mapping:
- The process to reach a vision is broken down into manageable progress markers.
- The monitoring process is flexible to allow for lessons learnt and adjustments.
- The whole process is captured digitally which enables a LED manager or development practitioner for example, to manage several people/entities simultaneously also making it much easier.
- A sensible system to deal with and ease the report-back and monitoring of the multi faceted nature of development projects with many and varied stakeholders to consider.
Infopreneurs are therefore superbly positioned as enterprise initiators and enhancers. Some infopreneurs with the aptitude have naturally grown into extension connectors of their own special interests and skills.
Become privy to the real status of rural South Africa. We invite you to partner with REEDiSA for enterprise development at grass root level where the possibilities for growth is most exciting and meaningful.
REEDiSA is a-political on purpose. We are bridge builders, working towards collaboration between political parties and other organizations as important institutions of serving and representing citizens, we seek to collaborate with institutions and individuals with the same sentiments.
- Information and Knowledge services;
- advanced ICT services and
- change facilitation that form part of an comprehensive
Local economic development system and strategy
We integrate it with entrepreneurial mobilisation and incubation,
through our Grassroots business networks who offer
- agency services,
- financial, commerce and logistic services and
- technology assisted skills development
which then leads to realistic and sustainable