(from left) Minister of the Department of Small Business Development (dsbd), Ms Lindiwe Zulu; dsbd Director General, Ms Edith Vries, CCDI Board Chairperson, Shado Twala and CCDI Executive Director, Erica Elk at the launch of Peek at the CCDI on 28 February
The CCDI has launched a new digital portal geared to becoming South Africa’s biggest online platform dedicated to showcasing beautiful craft and design products made in South Africa. The new platform www.peek.org.za has been made possible thanks to funding by the South African Department of Small Business Development.
It is a non-transactional search and connect site that is free to use and will open up access to new markets for the many small craft and design businesses in South Africa. The site has been piloted since August 2016 with small businesses and currently has over 120 businesses listed and over 630 local products showcased.
According to Erica Elk, Executive Director of the CCDI, Peek provides a platform for SA’s creative businesses anywhere in the country to showcase their work to a local and global audience, highlighting the very best of what South Africa has to offer. While it is not a trading platform, the site allows for click-throughs to businesses’ own websites, ecommerce platforms selling their products, and facilitates B2B and B2C contact.
“One of the key challenges for small South African businesses remains access to markets. With technology, however, we have the opportunity to bridge the divide and create new ways for beautiful local products to reach local and international buyers and consumers. We are very grateful to the DSBD for the funding to undertake this landmark initiative,” said Elk.
She added that the DSBD has also supported the CCDI to take its training programmes and knowledge to a national audience through a rollout campaign which started in 2016.
“The CCDI is a non-profit company with 15 years of experience successfully growing local creative businesses. We support the development of start-up, established and exporting enterprises, operating in urban, peri-urban and rural areas, in craft, design, light manufacturing and related sectors where design can commercialise innovation. Our services help businesses develop the right product for the right market using appropriate business and production systems; and we link entrepreneurs into ever expanding national and international networks of market opportunities, putting them on a growth and profitability path.
“Through the DSBD we have been able to take these services beyond the Western Cape to the benefit of small creative businesses in all nine provinces. Platforms like Peek will enable many business that have constrained local market opportunities in their towns and cities to access a much larger audience and consumer-base for free.
Peek is not a curated site and so its unique value is the diversity of the range of products and aesthetics. There is something for everyone on this site.”
Elk added that the Peek site is an important addition to the physical market access opportunities provided by the CCDI, such as facilitating access for small businesses to local markets, key national trade shows and events, and international trade shows like Maison et Objet.
“If we look at the value of trade from just three of these market access opportunities concluded in 2016, we enabled small businesses to generate orders of over R1.8million. We anticipate that Peek will help our South African creative businesses find even more new customers locally and internationally.”
The CCDI invites creative businesses to sign up for the Peek site by registering as a business member on the national database at www.ccdi.org.za – it’s free and once registered, businesses can directly access Peek to upload products.