The Odd Cup

The Odd Cup is the name of the coffee shops at the Khayelitsha and Hermanus branches of Learn to Earn. Each of these coffee shops is run in partnership with Learn to Earn by an entrepreneur in the E³ mentorship programme.

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Ntombie Macanda, our Enterprise Development mentee at the Khayelitsha Coffee Shop, has always had a passion for cooking and a vision of running her own catering business. What started out as helping people in her community with catering for functions has led to the opportunity of a life time.

After being retrenched by Woolworths in 2011, she realised that this was the chance she had been waiting for – of turning 'helping out' into a catering business. She started advertising her catering and function hiring services via word of mouth.

In 2013, a friend told her about LtE's Bake for Profit course, which was due to start with a new class the next week. Unfortunately, she did not have the money to register for the course, but after an encouraging conversation with her daughter and mother-in-law, they promised to pay her fees.

While on the 8-week long course she shared her vision of having her own business one day with her trainer, who advised Ntombie to 'write an application letter should LtE have or hear of anything, as they do help students find jobs or business opportunities'.

Fortunately for Ntombie, a short-term contact opened up at the LtE coffee shop in Khayelitsha, as the lady who was running it went on maternity leave. Enterprise Development Facilitator, Gen Kruger called and offered Ntombie the contact for the last 3 weeks of the 2013 term. Ntombie grabbed the opportunity as she thought it would help her market her business and also see how things work in a coffee shop.

The 3-week contract lead to being invited in 2014 on to Learn to Earn's Enterprise Development Programme (with a 3-month probation period). Says Ntombie 'I got so excited and when I told my family everybody was so happy for me'. On 25 March (Ntombie birthday), Gen gave her the good news that she had passed the probation period with flying colours and had been accepted onto the 3-year E³ programme.

Ntombie shared 'This was very exciting news for me and my family, as they are always supportive and I am very positive that I will make the best out of this, as I am really enjoying what I am doing. I really thank LtE for giving me this opportunity and thank my family for all the support they have shown.

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