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Hello Yoco!

Hello Yoco!

Founded by four friends, Yoco has given South African small businesses what they need.

According to Yoco, the South African small business community is the engine that drives our economy forward because it creates jobs, fosters innovation and builds strong communities. The biggest priority at Yoco therefore is helping small business succeed!

Yoco makes selling, for anyone who’s starting a business, easy, by providing the tools business owners need to start, run and grow their businesses. “It’s how we’re trying to make the world better, through open commerce.”

Today, tens of thousands of businesses across South Africa accept card payments with Yoco and the numbers just keep growing.

Research conducted by Yoco shows of every R10 spent at a small business, more than R6 is reinvested in the local community. South Africa’s small businesses create an ecosystem that has the power to materially impact jobs and our economy, and it needs your festive season spend to thrive.

This is why, in partnership with Visa, Yoco has launched a movement aiming to bring awareness to the contribution small businesses make to our communities and our economy. ‘Shop The Streets’ encourages South Africans to support small business owners in the biggest way possible – by shopping at their stores. Shop The Streets champions the brave, the dreamers, the doers, the makers – the entrepreneurs creating communities.

This time of year is particularly important for small businesses, with on average more than 20% of their annual revenue made in a one-month period. A poor peak season therefore has a significant knock-on effect. And with 91% of small business owners sourcing their products and services from 30 other local suppliers on average, weak sales in November and December can have dire consequences on employment and the survival of their businesses heading into 2020.

In the survey of more than 1000 small businesses, each spends approximately R100,000 on their suppliers each month. And, each business employs between three and four individuals. When you buy the perfect gift at a small business, therefore, it does so much more than make the recipient happy – it directly impacts the lives of a vast network of people.

“South Africans can play a significant role in helping to create jobs and foster economic growth by supporting their local businesses. With Shop The Streets, we aim to encourage South Africans to think twice before allocating all their budgets towards large retailers, and make careful, considered purchases that can have an impact that benefits all,” says Katlego Maphai, Yoco Co-Founder and CEO.

Shop The Streets is designed to highlight how special and unique small businesses make communities, and recognise the people behind them. Whether it is visiting your friendly neighbourhood greengrocer or the local pharmacist, or even the bakery that adds that extra touch to your order, local businesses create their own stories and form an integral part of our lives.

“Visa is a passionate advocate for small business, the backbone of the local economy,” says Aldo Laubscher, Visa Country Manager, South Africa. “We are proud to be a part of the Shop The Streets initiative and to help small businesses not only survive, but grow and thrive. As a global payments technology leader, we provide small business owners with the tools to help keep their businesses secure, competitive and ultimately, drive growth. Small businesses are increasingly benefitting from the cash-to-card move, with research showing that accepting digital payments increases revenue for small businesses by as much as 40%,” Laubscher says.

“Shop The Streets is much more than a campaign. It represents a movement aimed at inspiring a fundamental shift in consumer buying behaviour. When you shop at a small business, you’re supporting people: not boards, not algorithms, not stockholders. You’re supporting the people that shape our streets, make our towns tick and our cities feel like home. You’re supporting the businesses that bring us together and build thriving communities. When we shop small, we’re part of something bigger. When people shop the streets, they are contributing significantly to a local small business ecosystem, where their spend has far-reaching consequences,” says Maphai.

Visit to discover thousands of participating shops and locations to support this festive season.

If you are a small business owner, and would like to participate in this movement, irrespective of whether you are a Yoco merchant, please sign up at the above address. By doing so, conscious shoppers will be able to find your business more easily.

I caught up with Yoco recently. Here’s the interview:

Clare Petra Matthes

Hi, I'm Clare and I am a freelance writer and Tech journalist as well as the owner and founder of where I review tech devices and also cover emerging technology news. Outside of I write for a number of publications and have regular tech slots on chaiFM radio station and eNCA's Tech Matters national breakfast TV news show.

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