Nokwhethu Khojane and Lauren Drake

Lakheni

Lakheni is a buying platform that amplifies the power of communities through collective buying. Groups and communities – whether neighbours, members of a stokvol or a church congregation – can group together as a buying group, allowing them to buy directly from suppliers, saving money.

Nokwhethu Khojane and Lauren Drake are the dynamic and passionate duo behind Lakheni, having met whilst studying together at UCT. Coming from different backgrounds, they came together with the love and passion for education and community service.

Lakheni encourages communities to form buying groups, which allows them to access to cheaper goods, as goods can be sourced directly from suppliers in bulk. Groups can then order through Lakheni, who will also deliver the goods.

Lakheni addresses the need for a company to deliver monthly groceries into the township, with a focus on crèches. Many people struggle with space and capacity to transport the goods once bought, especially the majority who are making use of public transport such as buses and taxis.

Since their involvement with the SAB Foundation, Lakheni has now grown the staff complement to a workforce of four, bringing on a well-experienced driver, as well as a Sales and Marketing Manager.

The funding also allowed Lakheni to build a website, develop an app which potential and current consumers use to order the service, as well as purchase a Lakheni bakkie which is used for transporting the groceries.

The result is that the business has grown a tremendous amount, allowing it to serve even more people, and its reputation continues to grow through word-of-mouth recommendation.

Nokwhethu talks about how the business’ success continues to make her proud: “I love to see the “Wow” expressions on our customers’ consumers faces when the groceries arrive to feed their families. It is a huge compliment knowing that our customers endorse us, and the strength of the relationship we hold with members of the community formed as a result of Lakheni’s existence.”

Read more about Lakheni here: http://www.fin24.com/Entrepreneurs/Opinions-and-Analysis/sas-social-enterprises-falling-through-the-cracks-20170213