Load shedding is wreaking havoc on small businesses across the country. But payment provider iKhokha has developed a solution that’ll help businesses keep selling without electricity.
A recent study noted that 64% of businesses in townships cease to operate in load shedding. During these outages, customer satisfaction is affected, footfall decreases and supply chains become disrupted, leading to further financial setbacks.
Employees are also feeling the impact as the study notes that 66% of small businesses have reduced staff due to rising costs and declining profits.
Considering over half of South Africa’s urban population resides in townships and informal settlements, it’s substantial buying power and trade which grinds to a halt whenever the lights go out.
And with expensive backup power supplies out of reach, daily losses and looming closures is the stark reality for these businesses.
Small businesses are integral to any healthy economy, and the impact of these frequent disruptions is clear in South Africa’s stagnating economic growth.
At the end of 2022, load shedding had cost R1.2-trillion (approximately 25% of South Africa’s GDP). In 2023, our economic growth will slow to 0.3% as South Africa slumps further behind continental powerhouses like Kenya (6%) and Nigeria (3.2%).
iKhokha: helping power up businesses through load shedding
Recognising the struggles faced by small businesses and the effects of load shedding on the economy, the iKhokha team has worked hard to build a solution to combat the daily challenges faced by South African business owners.
In partnership with Retail Capital, iKhokha hopes to distribute up to a R1-billion of much-needed working capital into the hands of small business owners in 2023 with its iK Cash Advance product.
It has also launched the iK Flyer – its new flagship card machine. Here’s how the iK Flyer helps mitigate the impact of load shedding for small businesses…
Reliable power supply: all-day battery life
The iK Flyer card machine has a powerful battery that ensures continuous operation throughout the day, even during extended power outages. With this device, businesses can remain open and process payments without relying on the national power grid.
Staying connected when it matters
The iK Flyer offers multiple high-speed connectivity options, including built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and dual mobile network connectivity, minimising the loss of connectivity for SMEs during load shedding.
According to CEO Matt Putman, tools like the iK Flyer can offer businesses the chance to survive and even thrive in this challenging business environment.
“Our economy relies on the success of small businesses, and at iKhokha we understand better than most the very real challenges they face. We are dedicated to creating solutions that help small businesses thrive, even in the face of adversity,” he says.
“We need to work together and grind through this dark period of our democracy. To show our support, we are further dropping the barrier to entry for small businesses and will be subsidising the cost of the iK Flyer to help more South African SMEs have the toolset they need to survive and thrive through load shedding,” says Putman.
Priced at R999 from 1 June 2023, the iK Flyer presents an affordable alternative to anyone who refuses to let load shedding interrupt their business journey.
Find out more about the iK Flyer at www.ikhokha.com.
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