4. Dikeledi Mathibe & Neo Laundry

Dikeledi Mathibe’s Laundry service on 6th Avenue, in the heart of Alex, provides a pretty essential service in an environment where running water is not a given, and many households are not equipped with a washing machine. Dikeledi, a mother of 2, started the laundry in 2022 with two washing machines: Her own machine, and a second-hand one she purchased as an initial capital investment. Since then, her fleet has expanded to 6 units.

For Dikeledi, customer service is critically important, and customers in Alex are usually demanding: They expect to be able to drop off a bundle of clothes and see it returned clean and dry within a few hours, at most a day later. Achieving this level of service is no mean feat when Dikeledi, like most other businesses in Alex, is significantly impacted by the effects of loadshedding, as regular power cuts are referred to in South Africa.

In addition, Dikeledi is seeking to improve her internal operations, especially in terms of record keeping, as she would like to have more visibility on her profit and loss model in order to ensure her business’ long term viability, and maintain a steady income stream for her family.