Mandela Day is a global call to action that honours the legacy of Nelson Mandela and encourages individuals and organisations to positively impact their communities. While small businesses may have limited resources, they can still contribute meaningfully to Mandela Day in various ways.
7 Ways to make a Difference:
Volunteer as a team: Encourage your employees to dedicate their time and skills to a local charity or community project on Mandela Day. You can identify initiatives that are aligned with your business values and interests, such as volunteering at a shelter, organising a neighbourhood cleanup, or assisting with a community garden.
Offer pro bono services: Small businesses often possess specialised skills and expertise that can benefit local nonprofits or individuals in need. Consider offering your services free of charge for a day or a week leading up to Mandela Day. For example, if you're a graphic designer, you could design promotional materials for a local charity or create a website for a community initiative.
Support local causes: Identify local organisations or causes that align with the values of Mandela Day, such as education, poverty alleviation, or healthcare. Partner with these organisations by donating a percentage of your profits on Mandela Day or arranging fundraising events. You can also offer to sell their products or promote their services to your customers, raising awareness and support for the cause.
Skills-sharing workshops: In the spirit of “each one, teach one” that was adopted by prisoners on Robben Island, you can organise workshops or training sessions for individuals or other small businesses in your community. Share your knowledge and skills in areas relevant to your business. For example, if you run a bakery, you could offer a baking workshop to aspiring home bakers or teach them about business management in the food industry.
Mentorship programmes: Small business owners can play a vital role in empowering aspiring entrepreneurs. Offer mentorship or guidance to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to start their own businesses. Share your experiences and mistakes, provide advice and help them develop their business ideas.
Collaborate with other small businesses: Join forces with other local businesses to maximise your impact. Together, you can organise joint events, fundraising campaigns, or community projects. Pooling resources and efforts can create a more significant and meaningful impact than individual contributions.
Don’t stop! Mandela Day is but one day in a year. Many NPOs and charities are struggling to survive. Choose one organisation or cause that resonates with you and your team and remain engaged for the year. Your efforts will have far more impact and you will find that the relationships developed offer mutual rewards. Many teams report an improvement in team morale and sense of purpose due to long-term commitments to an organisation in need. There is also the community goodwill factor where your business is seen to be an active member of the community.
Remember, the key is to engage in activities that align with your business's values and capabilities. Small businesses have the power to make a positive difference in their communities and inspire others to do the same, even with limited resources.
Let’s make this Mandela Day count beyond the 18th of July!