Mauritius: The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, effected, yesterday, a site visit at the Esperanza Tailoring Women Entrepreneurs Co-operative Society Limited, a beneficiary of the garment making and tailoring scheme of the Ministry in Port-Louis.
In a statement following the visit, the Minister recalled that in August 2021, the Ministry launched a training course at the level of the National Cooperative College (NCC) for garment making and tailoring and called upon different cooperative societies, particularly women’s cooperatives, to join the training course which lasted for about eight months.
Minister Bholah pointed out that after the completion of the course in March 2022, financial assistance of Rs 200,000 to cover the lease of space for a period of six months and for the purchase of sewing and embroidery machines as well as other equipment and accessories that are required in a workshop was provided to the cooperative societies.
“There were nine cooperative societies that undertook these courses, six that applied for the financial scheme, out of which five societies have already benefitted from this assistance plan and are operating in different regions of the island,” he indicated.
Esperanza Tailoring Women Entrepreneurs Co-operative Society Limited, he underscored, has been registered with the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives since August 2021 with the main objectives to indulge in the production and sale of custom-made clothing, all types of uniforms, curtains and other textiles.
The Minister further said that during the site visit, he had the opportunity to take note that the training and assistance plan had paid off. “It is satisfying to note that this cooperative society has succeeded and is currently employing other people to work in their company and receiving several orders, in particular for school uniforms during this start of school period,” he added.
Minister Bholah added that he was very impressed by the quality and volume of work produced by the staff, who was very dedicated and hardworking. On that score, he reaffirmed his continued assistance to the Cooperatives sector, which has shown to have a great future, especially with newcomers who are forming new cooperative societies and micro businesses.
The Garment Making and Tailoring Project
The Garment Making and Tailoring Project is one of the new sectors into which the Ministry is encouraging cooperatives to venture into with a view to encouraging more production at the local level, thus saving on foreign currency and making services for garment making and tailoring available to the population in their proximity.
The Cooperatives Division started the implementation of the Garment Making and Tailoring project in 2020 and comprised the provision of, namely:
- Training in garment making and tailoring by the NCC with the collaboration of the Fashion and Design Institute;
- Financial assistance of Rs 200,000 per cooperative for 90% of the costs of equipment for garment making and tailoring shop up to a maximum of Rs 150,000;
- Six months’ rental costs of the garment making and tailoring shop up to a maximum of Rs 6,000 per month and; signage and advertising materials to a maximum of Rs 14,000.
The objectives of the Garment Making and Tailoring project are to, amongst others: empower cooperatives, especially women entrepreneurs and generate employment; generate income; increase the standard of living and; develop women’s entrepreneurship and skills.