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Running Your Small Enterprise(Spaza Shop) Like A Big Entity

The notion that we small business owners have to wear different hats can be detrimental to us and our businesses. I always wondered if the concept of  working ON your business  was real and feasible, given the resource constraints at a start-up phase. Given my Damascus moment and my experience, I can say, it is possible. Resources at the start-up phase are not the issue.  In the  2000s, just after I opened my laundry company. I joined the entrepreneurship program which was offered by Raizcorp, an enterprise development house founded by Mr. Allon Raiz. One of the weighty lessons I learned from this institution especially from Allon himself was:  Build your business in such a way that you work ON it, not IN it.  When I first heard this, my scepticism shot to the roof and silently  I would respond: " I wish you can come work in my laundry for a week and then come and make that lofty statement". Truly speaking, I believed it was easy for Alon to preach s
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Lack Of Resources Versus Fear of Failure

Many moons ago when the entrepreneurial bug bit me, through the Gordon Institute of Business Science(GIBS), I was honored and privileged to be mentored by Robert Brozin the co-founder of Nandos. He said something that I did not understand then, but later made a lot of sense. He said:  "ride the crest of fearlessness and naivety".  At first, I took offense from his statement, but as an entrepreneur, I brushed it off and listened to my own noise. I continued running my business with minimal resources I had, no funding and no fear that I might fail. Three years after riding the crest of fearlessness and naivety unknowingly, the chickens came home to roost. There I was; confronted with a lease contract and license agreement which I signed with mighty naivety and fearlessness. I did not know what I got myself into. The most amazing thing was: when I did it, I didn't know the consequences of my actions, and fear was absent.  I remember calling Rob, thanking him for te


Not once, not twice, had I asked myself -  why and whom am I doing this for?   I heard other entrepreneurs asking the same question in their journey of entrepreneurship. This must be a universal question in entrepreneurship; if you are an entrepreneur, and you have not asked yourself this question or never heard it from your fellow entrepreneur, you are one in a million! Why and whom are you doing it for?   It is a very strange question. For, when it is asked it does not suggest that one has given up, nor does it suggest that one does not know why he/she is an entrepreneur. It is asked for the sole purpose of reaffirming one's conviction and commitment to entrepreneurship journey and reconfirming staying on course for the cause. I tell you; this question cannot be taken to a therapist for unpacking or assistance.  No matter how many times it is asked; the one who is asking has to answer him/herself, as the best answer has to come from within. Sometimes when asked, it is like

Entrepreneur, Listen To Your Own Noise!

I had never understood the concept of " listening to your own noise" until I become an entrepreneur. It has nothing to do with dismissing the coaching, advice, and guidance from those with experience. All it means is; deep inside of you, lies the primary and sufficient resources you need, therefore, trust yourself and your ideas, as no one can do it for you. If an entrepreneur does not believe in her/himself or his/her idea. Who else can believe on her/his behalf? Listening to your own noise is to be a prisoner of your own destiny. Convicted only- by what is placed in your heart and mind. Taking out the emotional aspect of being a dreamer/entrepreneur. Listening to your own noise does not mean being big-headed, but has everything to do with being single-minded, hard-working, committed, desperate and a solid state of mind. The daily struggles of entrepreneurs are; out a hundred things that will happen to entrepreneurs in a day,  ten will be good, and ninety will be bad, but

The Lonely Journey Of Entrepreneurship

If only I was told that, When the beast become untameable, The transition to real being and real-life began. If only I was told, When the beast sleeps day time, And keeps me awake night time, I would be awakened to social ills, political ills, ill systems, and Eventually, I will be ill. If only I was told, I would lose my friends, gain enemies I would lose my sleep, gain insomnia Lose my expression, gain depression I would lose my sanity, gain lunacy I would lose my dwelling, gain destitution I would lose my Rands, gain Cents I would lose my social standing and gain social security grant. If only I was told!!!! If only I was told, that I will question and begin to doubt My faith, government, friends, family.......... Somebody tell me! All this brought me to the real me, To my beautiful, resilient, courageous, enterprising me, I would do it again! Tell me again! I am a catalyst of change I am a game changer I am destructo

Do Entrepreneurs And Government Sing From The Same Hymn Sheet?

Prof Jay Mitra in a recent conference that I attended said: " Governments should be interventionist than being responsive in their efforts to support and build the SME sector" To be "interventionist or responsive" is a policy position that; the governments take to achieve or correct certain imbalances in the market. I am indifferent to either policy position. As an entrepreneur who is in the trenches for eleven years now, mine; is to reflect whether the South African Government is responding or intervening in supporting or building the SME sector? It will be unfair and misleading to say that; the South African Government is not responding or intervening in the plight of SME’s. A number of institutions were established to respond to the needs of SME’s e.g. SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency), LEDA (Local Economic Development Agencies), GEP (Gauteng Enterprise Propeller), ECDC (Eastern Cape Development Corporation) and many others. The establishment o

Being A Woman, and In Businesses : Lessons Learned - Loud Silent Practises

Surely this is just one topic that had been covered extensively by experts, government institutions, business people and ordinary citizens alike. Given the advancement of conversations on equality and women’s rights globally, it is difficult to think that I am penning down my experiences on loud yet silent practices that are perpetuated against women in the business world. The first glaring observation that anyone can make is: globally, statistics show that there are more women than men, yet, women are outnumbered by men in the corporate and business world. Culture, religion and maternal nature of women have been cited as the reason for this anomaly. Whether the gender representation in the corporate and business world is by default or design, it just one of the areas that need to be tackled to bring about inclusivity and equality. When I entered the business world eleven years ago, I was very much aware of the gender imbalance, its pros, and cons, but; I did want it to det