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Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group
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Entrepreneurship expo helps turn flip flops into school shoes

Barefoot no more™, an initiative that looks after the ‘soles’ of school children in need, will receive a sponsored stand at the 2011 Business and Opportunities Franchise Expo (BOFE). Thanks to the generosity of the Eskom Development Foundation and Thebe Exhibitions and Projects, barefoot no more™ will be able to promote its school shoe campaign to all those attending the 2011 BOFE (an exhibition aimed at promoting entrepreneurial business opportunities and the growth of small businesses in South Africa).

Haylene Liberty, CEO of the Eskom Foundation, adds: “The expo offers a commercial platform for barefoot no more™ to market its product to corporates, thereby creating a social consciousness for each individual visitor, corporate, franchisor and exhibitor to add to the greater good of our society.”

The barefoot no more™ concept is a simple and innovative one. Large corporate and other businesses are able to purchase ‘241 flip flops’ from this initiative, and use them in various aspects of their marketing and advertising strategies, and as corporate giveaways. For each pair of flip flops purchased through this campaign, barefoot no more™ will donate a pair of very special school shoes to a needy school child. The corporate buyers can elect to have the 241 flip flops and the drawstring bags containing the school shoes branded with their specific logo and corporate colour. The “flip flop” campaign can also be used as a marketing tool directed at the CSI budgets of corporate companies.

The sponsorship will help profile the barefoot no more™ initiative to the BOFE’s targeted visitor base of 10 000 people and its 250 exhibitors. The aim is to get as many businesses as possible to participate in the barefoot no more™ programme. Every time someone wears a pair of 241 flip flops, they are reminded that a school child somewhere is wearing a much needed pair of school shoes.

“There are children in Africa who go out of their way to receive an education, even if it means walking miles with their bare feet to get to school. Through barefoot no more™, we can make a difference and help give these children a pair of unique shoes created to change the footprint of Africa’s youth by creating jobs, while ensuring they go barefoot no more,” says Glynis Anderson, General Manager, Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group.

The 2011 BOFE, sponsored by Standard Bank, is challenging corporate South Africa to make a change and help millions of barefoot children receive a pair of school shoes.

The shoe is made locally from an innovative, fully recyclable material designed specifically for school children in Africa. It is waterproof, shock absorbent, will not cause blisters, can stretch to accommodate a growing foot while remaining perfectly comfortable and doesn’t need to be polished.

Lee Ann Barker of barefoot no more™ says: “The flip flops and school shoes are both made in South Africa, allowing us to create jobs and foster awareness around local industry.”

The donation of the shoes is handled by barefoot no more™ teams employed solely for this purpose. They visit each school and ensure every child receives a pair of shoes that fits them perfectly, and corporate sponsors are encouraged to go along for the delivery and handover. As the shoes are replaced on a yearly basis, all old shoes collected are fully recycled in order to manufacture new ones.

According to Barker, if every working person in South Africa had to budget R100 a year to purchase a pair of branded 241 flip flops, then every child in the country would have a pair of shoes. “By targeting corporates to participate on a large scale, and by creating public awareness, we should make great progress in ensuring that no school child has to go barefoot.”

As BOFE, held at the Coca-Cola dome in Johannesburg, falls in mid-September, the sponsored barefoot no more™ stand will profile their Spring Day campaign, and kick off their Christmas initiatives. Besides promoting the concept to corporates, flip flops will also be on sale at BOFE, and school shoes relating to these sales will be delivered various schools, including children in the Swavana Project, an initiative which make candles out of recycled plastic coke bottles.

“We are counting down the days to the expo and are really excited. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase barefoot no more™ to an audience of entrepreneurs who value initiatives aimed at education and job creation,” concludes Barker.

With Independent Newspapers, comprising of The Star, The Star Workplace and IOL, once again coming on board as media partner for BOFE, the barefoot no more™ campaign will get the prominent exposure it deserves.

ENDS

About BOFE
The 2011 Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo (BOFE) proudly sponsored by Standard Bank, is a joint partnership between Thebe Exhibitions and Projects and The Eskom Foundation. The Star, Star 3 Workplace and IOL are the official media partners for the event in 2011. BOFE is devoted to the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), providing aspirant entrepreneurs with opportunities to diversify their business portfolios. Visitors to BOFE will have the opportunity to research and explore a variety of investment prospects, franchise options and free workshops as well as networking with successful entrepreneurs.

BOFE takes place from 15 – 18 September, 2011, at the Coca-Cola dome.
For more information, please visit: www.bofe.co.za

CONTACTS
Glynis Anderson
Thebe Exhibitions & Projects
Tel: +27 11 549-8300
Email: glynis@tepg.co.za

Chris Bornman - Communications Manager
Eskom Development Foundation
Tel: +27 11 800-2758
Email: Chris.Bornman@eskom.co.za

Issued by:
Deborah O’Connell
Firehouse Communications
Tel: +27 11 447-1805
Email: deborah@thefirehouse.co.za

 
 
 
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