Known as the brainchild of the thrift market concept in Zambia, Bill Clington, supplies a unique market of summer wear, including Hawaiin shirts made out of cotton from Zambia and Ghana.
He started supplying these outfits from a humble K200 (R296) budget and he generates K10 000 (R14 801) where he spends K2 500 (R3700) on orders. He now employs five permanent staff.
Bill shares that the difficult circumstances from which he came forced him to look for opportunities to make money. He started by buying and selling summer wear and in this market, he has found a niche to grow his business.
Through his brilliant idea of making money through thrift markets Bill has introduced a unique way of empowering youth to run their own small businesses, and also to save and invest.
He uses the thrift market as a way of educating youth about his work and the need for young people to continuously be on the lookout for opportunities to create employment, not only for themselves but for others.
The thrift market takes place every first Saturday of the month, strategically after month end when people still have money to spend, allowing the youth to trade in various products and teaching them the basic principles of entrepreneurship.
Each month, about 35 tables are set out; traders pay K200 (R296) per table in order to sell their products. In turn this creates 35 youth-driven profitable mini-enterprises.
Having been inspired by his financial and socio-economic challenges to start a business to support himself and his mother, Bill’s vision for the next five years is to see his store at every mall in his town, and to dress artists for their music videos.
He wants to grow the thrift market concept, especially across the continent and eventually around the world, in order to help nurture an entrepreneurial spirit among youth, to show that they are the solution to the challenges that they may be facing, including challenges of unemployment.
He is of the view that young people must have a vision of the Africa that they want to see tomorrow and begin to build it themselves. He is strongly grounded in the principles of savings and investing as a driver of success, and is of the view that this mindset will propel the continent’s youth to make more impact in addressing unemployment and other socio-economic challenges.
He says these principles will also help to put an end to the “hand to mouth” lifestyle and a culture of savings will save the continent from this and help take it out of poverty.