The Hollywood Foundation continues to support women-owned businesses throughout the country. On 03 May 2023, the Hollywood Foundation Team through the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme travelled to Umlazi, south of Durban to hand over a branded 12m container to Hlengiwe Shandu of Gemisquare (Pty) Ltd.
Gemisquare Bakeries became well known in Umlazi during the July unrest in KZN. They provided essential items to the community, including bread when there was a shortage of it in the country.
Hlengiwe was thrilled to receive the support from the Hollywood Foundation. She said that the container came at the right time because they were working from a confined RDP house where the machinery was squashed and couldn’t use it to full capacity.
The company bakes and supply bread to the community and tuckshops in Umlazi and surrounding areas. Hlengiwe said they are trying to break the belief that production companies should be far from people and you have to travel to be able to buy things like bread.
Gemisquare Bakeries is more than just a bakery; it is a community hub. Hlengiwe also teaches people how to bake, and some of the people she has taught have started their own businesses. She wants to continue to grow her business and provides her community with delicious baked goods. Her dream is to be one of the biggest suppliers of bread in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and expand to other provinces while creating employment opportunities for the youth.
She said that through the contribution from the Hollywood Foundation, They have been able to take more orders as they have not been able to do so before and have added two more employees to the existing four, including herself, creating employment for the youth. With the support of organisations like the Hollywood Foundation, Gemisquare Bakeries is sure to continue to thrive. “I would like to express my sincere and great gratitude to the Hollywood Foundation for recognising the potential of my business, without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Hlengiwe said.