EPCoCT Supports Local Business
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
A Tembisa branding and printing business, IAF Brands, is one of the recent community-based small business concerns to receive a helping hand from the Ekurhuleni Peermont Chambers of Commerce Trust (EPCoCT), a BBBEE vehicle within the Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts group.
Established by Bulelani Balabala, the company received funding of R424 092 from the Trust to augment the R178 863 provided by Balabala to purchase a 1625 MM sublimation printer with Versaworks soft ink and accessories as part of the company’s growth strategy. Having started out as Intercessor Army Franchising CC in 2006 branding garments for matric students, which was unsuccessful, Balabala, with no training or knowledge of operating a computer, diversified and opened an internet café at his parents’ house in Hospital View. Seeing a gap in the local market he then ventured into the printing business which subsequently led him to discover a need for brand development in the Tembisa business community and beyond resulting in the establishment of IAF Brands.
A company that now boasts three main services - print, online and brand development - connecting its clients like, the Ekurhuleni Metro, Lenova, Mofaya Beverages, Touch HD, 360 Financial Services (just to mention a few), through the creative use of images, shapes, colour and text. Thanks largely to the grant from the EPCoCT and the new sublimation printer and accessories IAF Brands can now print anything from indoor and outdoor display banners to wall paper promotional material and do office/building branding, mobile advertising, vehicle branding and signage.
“On the brand development front, we assist clients with services like graphic design, creating corporate identities, establishing marketing strategies and offering brand workshops for management.
“From an online perspective we can assist clients with web design, managing their social media platforms, launching digital marketing campaigns and devise online strategies,” says Balabala.
Apart from running this growing business Balabala, who has been certified to do Small Enterprise Start-Up Training by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), is also a professional speaker on topics such as brand development and entrepreneurship. He is also featured on multiple media platforms where he gives thought leadership and has a catalogue of work on YouTube and sound cloud with his latest motivational CD available on iTunes & Google Play Store. As IAF Brands currently employs 12 permanent and five part time staff, numbers which are set to expand as the company grows, it ticks one of the main boxes the EPCoCT requires when approving funding.
“One of the main aims of the EPCoCT and the grants we allocate is to create jobs and make a positive impact on the lives of the people of Ekurhuleni, by supporting IAF Brands we believe we are making a difference,” says the Trust’s Administrator, Makomane Ntabo.