Watch List: 50 Top SA Business Women To Watch
Today her business has expanded to include IKG Start-up Capital, which is dedicated to creating world class entrepreneurs throughout the African continent. I often joke with people that my father was in the recycling business before it became fashionable. I consider myself very fortunate that I grew up in a family that was considered financially and materially poor. The fundamental principles my father taught me of running a small operation — such as financial discipline, hard work, sacrifice and persistence — were extremely valuable.
I had to observe why our sales were declining or increasing and each evening I had to report the daily revenue to my father.
It was often in the region of R per day. I also had to make recommendations on improvements to ensure that we could offer better fruits and veggies than the other older ladies that were next to our stalls.
10 Successful SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Top Advice On Balancing Work And Family
It is these lessons that gave me the courage to quit my job in and start my own company. It is my belief that even in the era of digitisation, there are still fundamental principles about business that will not change. You need to have a strategy that continues to evolve with the needs of your customers, particularly in our current digital era where needs of the customers change very rapidly through the options that they are presented with. Financial literacy and discipline in working capital management is important because at this stage the business needs a lot of growth capital to generate more revenue before the start-up can reach a break-even stage and make profits.
We have also been involved in building and managing clinics, housing, and water and sanitation projects in many previously disadvantaged communities. The passion to extend this positive impact fuelled the growth of the company where my partners and teams come from very diverse backgrounds — ranging from investment banking, engineering, project management, healthcare and education — to ensure that our services to our clients offer a holistic approach.
However to succeed in this, entrepreneurs need to understand that collaboration and partnerships are important. Empires are not built by individuals but take a collective mindset with a single vision. Knowledge about your customer is fundamental because without your customers you have no business. This building of digital customer relationships provides your business with an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage in the tough market we operate in today.
I still embrace the physical human relationship where I stay close to my customers and ensure that I understand what is troubling them and how they can be better served. Keep your vision, but let your strategy be flexible. Talk to venture capitalist and private equity guys, there is always someone willing to not only invest their money but their ideas, experience and networks. But, be open to give a little bit of equity; it has to be worth their while.
A great product range backed by an ambitious vision and a determination to get the basics right is helping Portia Mngomezulu to conquer the highly competitive beauty industry. What is so special about these brands? A qualified systems engineer, and a curious entrepreneur by nature, Portia was always selling something that she had concocted. In , after she had a child, her mother-in-law suggested using marula oil to help with stretch marks.
Portia went to her hometown of Phalaborwa, where she had grown up playing under marula trees, and procured the oil from local women. But she was adamant that she did not want to grow a network marketing business. Great and successful entrepreneurs have achieved their purpose and goal by setting a strong and clear vision, and by pursuing it with passion.
Convinced that she was onto a sure thing, she approached the Small Enterprise Development Agency SEDA and asked for help to have her products and formulas tested.
10 Successful SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Top Advice On Balancing Work And Family | Entrepreneur
Getting the legal paperwork right was a key step in the growth of the business, and one that would pay off later. Personal care products are subjected to many different tests before being placed on the market for sale. Testing usually includes evaluations for product stability, purity, safety and the effectiveness of preservatives, which protect the product from deterioration. The process took around six months, during which she continued to sell, without taking a cent from the business.
Persistence, and the willingness to overcome a wide range of obstacles, usually determines the fate of a company. After getting Makro to agree to stock Portia M at six of its stores, it took another two years to convince the buyers for Shoprite and Checkers to do the same. But I resolved not to take it personally. Instead, I used this time to perfect the range.
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Now, our products are in more than Shoprite and Checkers stores. She also took the opportunity to show her products to Absa at a trade show. Instead, they suggested she take part in a city women in business roadshow they were running. She did, selling more than 30 skincare products. She was impressed by the fact that I had tested the products and had barcodes in place. They gave me the opportunity to sell in 20 Pick n Pay stores. It was a life-changing moment and I remember crying when I saw the brand on the shelves.
Her next challenge was marketing. With no budget available, she had to get the products moving off the shelves. Already accustomed to promoting Portia M to her friends on Facebook, she took her social media presence to the next level, having photos taken of the product range and encouraging people to try it out.
Today we have more than followers on Facebook, over 12 on Instagram, and over 3 on Twitter. Money is just a byproduct. So is it the same for others? When I write about company culture , I often note author Daniel Pink's philosophy that once money is off the table for people--meaning it's no longer a stress point or constantly on their mind because they're paid enough--they become driven by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. So what are entrepreneurs driven by, if not money? I got more than 20 responses from the entrepreneurs at YEC.
Here's what they had to say:. Susan Strayer Lamotte, a leader in talent acquisition and HR, says she's motivated simply by "doing great work. That's the difference," she explains. What I get to do. And that's the mecca for me. Some entrepreneurs simply want to avoid the daily grind that comes along with a career that isn't self-sustaining. I love the way the coop. What is the Future of Publishing? Over the last decade, we have seen a phenomenal sea change in publishing of all sorts — books, music, newspapers, photography, movies, and more. To hear the media spin it, social media, troll-like tendencies, and a never ending stream of video dominates and weakens our already fractured and.
Our universe is so abundant. It provides us with many wonders. From beauty and mystery, to life and beyond, the options and the opportunities are breathtaking. Meet My New Baby! I am renewing my dedication to blogging here, and have also launched a new site. The creative process fascinates me. I enjoy the almost indescribable feeling I get when Source flows through me to deliver an inspired idea. Sometimes an idea is delivered complete and I can barely move my fingers across the keyboard or my pencil across my drawing pad fast enough to capture the download of it.
Other times, it seems to play hide and seek, revealing itself in bits and pieces like following a meandering path that is definitely headed somewhere wonderful. Do You Like the Contrast? I am a big fan of Abraham-Hicks. I am also a firm believer in the power we all have to create our realities. Part of reality creation, and sometimes it seems a big part of creation, is contrast.
You know contrast — those situations that are not what you want. It might be about how much money you have or do not have , the love you have or do not have , the fun you have or do not have and well…. As an artist, contrast stimulates c. Yes, I am over the moon thrilled today. The interview will be on newsstands the last week of September.
Follow the path here for a moment, and take away whatever lessons you may from it. In January , I quit social media. The local newspaper technology writer, Omar Gallaga, was writing a story about digital overload and social media fatigue, and he caught my final tweet. Get in Sync When You Create. The life of an artist is glorious. Creating art and expressing yourself is the greatest honor. To dance with the Source of Life moving through you as you outwardly manifest inspiration is thrilling. Those moments when you capture the light from just the right angle in your photograph…those moments when the words on the page rise up into a 3D movie right before your eyes…those moments when that sketch takes on a life of its own.
Those moments are the ones an artist lives for. Well, my social media umbilical chord has been cut.
The first step is done. I am free to set sail! I only caught small amounts of flack.
Perhaps people were being politely silent, which is fine with me, but mostly, I got rousing support. The different reactions fell into several main categories — jealousy, regret that they could not join me, intrigue and curiosity, and hell yeah me too. Permission Requested, Permission Granted. Today, I pull the plug on my social media accounts. I am acutely aware of the dangers. I may be making the biggest mistake of my entire professional life.
Subtle doubts are pushing on me to stay, to give in to the seductive pull of being hyper-connected.
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