The story of Africa's largest artisanal market is one of humble beginnings with massive heart.
Four women wanted to provide a platform for local artisans to sell their beautiful crafts in time for Christmas. So, in late October 2003, one of them emptied out a few rooms from her home so they could invite 34 Makers to display and sell their goods at KAMERS Vol Geskenke (Rooms Full of Gifts). 800 visitors browsed and bought, encouraging them to repeat the event the next year. In 2005, they moved to an events venue - Overgaauw Wine Estate - and drew 3 000 visitors, and 5 000 the following year. As attendance grew, so did the KAMERS footprint. Gauteng beckoned and the City of Cape Town.
Today, KAMERS/Makers is Africa's largest artisanal market with 6 shows annually in SA and over 60 000 visitors.
Help is the change that businesses deserve
Founded 185 years ago - to support the needs of the wool industry in the Eastern Cape - FNB is SA's original business bank. Our entrepreneurial roots run deep, which is why we are so committed to funding and supporting the businesses that make South Africa work. And one of our key focus areas for enabling businesses to thrive remains the SME sector.
Banking on the SME sector is where we started, and it accounts for 98% of SA businesses, in operation, and almost 40% of GDP. The SME sector also accounts for 3 out of every 10 'waged' jobs. As the bank dedicated to helping South Africans help themselves, FNB is committed to enabling every SME to make the changes they want to see in their businesses.
Because if each one of the SMEs in the country can access responsible funding, that will enable sustainable growth so that it can employ just one more person, the difference would be incredible.
The artisanal loan and the crafts money can't buy
In 2016, the KAMERS/Makers team realised that to protect their growing success, they needed to make a fundamental shift in the way they did business.
They approached Merchant Craft/Plankton - a Fintech company specialising in payments - to find a way to make their shows cashless.
This protected individual Makers at each show, who would not be forced to drive around with large amounts of cash - especially as events venues that could accommodate the growing attendance became more remote.
The high number of transactions required was a significant hurdle, and after 2 years - KAMERS approached FNB, the world's most innovative bank to assist.
After understanding what help would look like to KAMERS, FNB made two simple, yet incredibly significant contributions.
Improving the iconic market's cashless payment system - using FNB Merchant Services. Each Maker stall at KAMERS markets received a Speedpoint point-of-sale device, enabling tap-to-pay, scan to pay, as well as debit and credit card payments. Ultimately delivering an intervention that not only increased sales, by tapping into customers at the markets who had not arrived carrying cash, but also increased the safety of the organisers and artisans.
The next intervention was even more far-reaching. FNB created an artisanal loan product - the 'Make a Plan'. This assisted the burgeoning artisan community whose goods were being sold at KAMERS/Makers.
This ensured sustainable growth not only for the markets themselves but the artisan community it was created to support. The 'Make a Plan' is a specialist short-term production loan, created from scratch, available to qualifying Makers to enable them to access funding to produce their goods to sell at the various KAMERS/Makers fairs across SA.
Let's help your business get there too
Let's start with the right advice, and then tailor funding for your specific needs.
Switch to FNB Business and let's help your business get there.