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 Success stories




Entrepreneurial spirit passed from mother to daughter, and taken to a new level spirit passed from mother to daughter, and taken to a new levelLooking back, Unathi Nkomo realises that she must have got her entrepreneurial spirit from her mother, although she was never really aware of it growing up. 2018/08/21 10:00:00 PM
Father and daughter a formidable team in cut-throat industry and daughter a formidable team in cut-throat industryFor Leonie Finch, taking over as general manager of the family’s powder coating business was somewhat daunting not so much because she would be one of the few female owner-managers in a very male-dominated industry, but because she would one day have to fill her father’s considerable entrepreneurial shoes.2018/08/21 10:00:00 PM
Friendship culminates in thriving car workshop culminates in thriving car workshopTwo friends who started their own mechanical workshop in Rustenburg eight months ago with one employee have already employed three more mechanics to keep up with the demand.2018/07/25 10:00:00 PM
Slow, patient struggle pays off for SA’s only community TV station’s-only-community-tv-stationSlow, patient struggle pays off for SA’s only community TV stationTwelve years ago, six idealistic people crammed into a small room at the back of a film school in Observatory, Cape Town, to start the community television station Cape Town TV.2018/07/25 10:00:00 PM
Fresh approach helps furniture business thrive approach helps furniture business thriveWhen Etienne Erasmus started his furniture-hire company, Rain Productions, there were a lots of competitors in the market, but they were old and staid, and failed to update their stock and keep up with the times. Etienne, on the other hand, was 24 at the time, and thought the industry could do with a fresh approach. 2018/06/26 10:00:00 PM
Tech entrepreneur ready to revolutionise SA healthcare entrepreneur ready to revolutionise SA healthcareFor all its underdevelopment, lack of public resources and scarcity of skills, South Africa presents massive opportunities for entrepreneurs who are able to spot ways in which technology can solve problems that would otherwise take generations to overcome.2018/06/26 10:00:00 PM
Dream of helping others put food on table fulfilled of helping others put food on table fulfilledWith his stellar career as an electrical engineer and hard-earned top academic achievements David Mmpanyana could have easily stayed on in his comfortable corporate job, but the yearning to build a business of his own was too strong.2018/05/30 10:00:00 PM
Perseverance leads to lucky break leads to lucky breakAt first glance, the way that Anthony Doyle landed his thriving Col’Cacchio pizzeria franchise outlet at the L’Corro shopping centre in Northcliff, Johannesburg, seems very lucky.2018/05/30 10:00:00 PM
Down-and-out single mom makes come-back, and empowers thousands of women single mom makes come-back, and empowers thousands of womenWhen Brenda Fredericks became a single mom after a difficult divorce, the last thing she ever wanted to do was work on another garment again. She and her ex-husband ran a clothing business and all she wanted was to move on from that painful period of her life. 2018/03/25 10:00:00 PM
Low-key, constant innovation drives manufacturer’s success’s-successLow-key, constant innovation drives manufacturer’s successNowadays high-profile inventors such as Elon Musk are revered and celebrated as important economic players. But the low-key, incremental innovation that happens every day in thousands of workshops is arguably even more important and not adequately acknowledged for its contribution to economic development and wealth creation.2018/03/25 10:00:00 PM
Amazing last-ditch push turns business around last-ditch push turns business aroundEven by the standards of business owners, who all go through some nerve-racking months, Mark and Liza Graham’s experience is in a league of its own.2018/02/27 10:00:00 PM
The power of life-long learning in business power of life-long learning in businessDelia Cupido is living proof of the power of life-long education in business. The 57-year-old owner of four growing private schools in Cape Town is clearly at the top of her game, yet she is once again ready to take her business to the next level through an entrepreneurial development programme that she has just completed. 2018/02/27 10:00:00 PM
Elevator business on its way to the top business on its way to the topMartin Jessen’s business started with his experience of being confined to a wheelchair for a few years just as he was starting school. The needs of people with disabilities and the importance of access and mobility were imprinted on his mind. Little did he know it would lead to a formidable business, and one that is today competing successfully in an industry dominated by multinational players. 2018/02/04 10:00:00 PM
Focus on training drives company’s fast-paced growth’s-fast-paced-growthFocus on training drives company’s fast-paced growthIf a business doesn’t grow, it dies, says Peter Flint of Armcoil Afrika, an electric motor and transformer business based in Roodepoort whose exponential growth over the past sixteen years shows that it is in pretty good health.2018/02/04 10:00:00 PM
Business growth only possible if entrepreneur grows with it growth only possible if entrepreneur grows with itShahnawaz Essop believes that entrepreneurs cannot grow their business unless they grow their own knowledge and skills and develop themselves personally. If his career so far is anything to go by, he is clearly onto something. 2017/12/13 10:00:00 PM
Turning an overnight stay into a destination an overnight stay into a destinationRunning your own business is the ultimate do-it-yourself project at the best of times, but if you are doing it in an isolated region you have to be even more self-reliant, says Mark Crawford, co-owner of the Crawford Beach Lodge, a resort of free-standing cottages set on a stunning stretch of the Wild Coast near the village of Chintsa. 2017/12/13 10:00:00 PM
Bike business fuelled by passion business fuelled by passion“I could ride a motorbike almost before I could walk,” jokes Dayne Marais, owner of Gravel Pit Motorcycles in Montana, Pretoria.2017/11/29 10:00:00 PM
Small investment blossoms into thriving property portfolio investment blossoms into thriving property portfolioBrian von Holdt used the savings from his student job to put down a deposit on a R300 000 house in Johannesburg. Today, sixteen years later, the portfolio that he had unwittingly started with that purchase has blossomed into a R300m multi-faceted property company, Ezulwini Investments. 2017/11/29 10:00:00 PM
Crisis action a true mark of entrepreneurial drive action a true mark of entrepreneurial driveThe ultimate proof of Bajith and Joshna Panday’s entrepreneurial drive is not their track record of starting at least three food businesses and an education and training business, or even that the husband-and-wife team were the first of their respective families to ever venture into business. 2017/10/30 10:00:00 PM
Finding entrepreneurial opportunities where they are least expected entrepreneurial opportunities where they are least expectedFor some, entrepreneurship doesn’t present itself as a career path until an opportunity virtually lands in their lap. Such was the case for Thara Singh, managing director of HJ Shenton Valve Services in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. The 59 year-old, Durban born businesswoman is making her mark in the competitive valve engineering and manufacturing industry – a historically male-dominated sector. 2017/10/23 10:00:00 PM
Start-up experience 'terrifying, frantic, fun, and rewarding' experience 'terrifying, frantic, fun, and rewarding'Starting a business for the first time is always difficult, not least because of the change in lifestyle that moving from employment to business ownership requires, but few entrepreneurs have had to live through a shift as dramatic as that which Allison and Lawrie Irvine made. 2017/09/28 10:00:00 PM
Thinking expansively is entrepreneurs answer to the off season expansively is entrepreneurs answer to the off seasonNocwaka Mazaleni thought she had solved the problem of the seasonality of the tourism trade by aiming her Kwantu guest house in Milnerton, Cape Town, at the corporate market. While she still experienced the boom of the tourism trade in the summer months and the lull of the winter, South African corporates provided a steady stream of bookings for travelling managers and corporate workshops.2017/09/28 10:00:00 PM
Armadillo proves vitality of SA manufacturing proves vitality of SA manufacturingWhen Lola Robertson joined a manufacturing company seventeen years ago as a junior buyer, she was one of a handful of women among almost 250 men, and she had a hard time convincing her colleagues that she knew the intricacies of industrial manufacturing.2017/08/29 10:00:00 PM
Entrepreneur tackles high health costs with her dream hospital tackles high health costs with her dream hospitalElmarie Marais describes the friendly, busy vibe at the hospital that she built with a mixture of pride and amazement of someone who almost can’t believe that her dream has come true. 2017/08/29 10:00:00 PM
Entrepreneur proves SAs manufacturing promise proves SAs manufacturing promiseSometimes it takes a perspective from the outside to see the opportunities in a local market. When Hifzur Rehman came from India to South Africa on a three-week holiday in 2004, he was struck by the enormous number of products imported from China.2017/07/30 10:00:00 PM