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 South African success stories




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. 2018-02-04T22:00:00.0000000Z
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 rude health.2018-02-04T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-12-13T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-12-13T22:00:00.0000000Z
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.2017-11-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-11-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-10-30T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-10-23T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-09-28T22:00:00.0000000Z
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.2017-09-28T22:00:00.0000000Z
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.2017-08-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
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. 2017-08-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
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.2017-07-30T22:00:00.0000000Z
Love of take-aways sparks amazing franchise success of take-aways sparks amazing franchise successA Johannesburg couple, Mogani and Nalen Padayachee, who call themselves serial entrepreneurs, have managed to achieve amazing success in the fast-food franchising industry despite holding down professional careers in unrelated industries.2017-07-30T22:00:00.0000000Z
Entrepreneur left school for business and never looked back left school for business and never looked backEntrepreneurs are not known for always following a traditional approach to formal education. When Jose Nunes told his parents that he was going to leave school in Grade 8 to work full-time in the family's take-away restaurant, they were alarmed and upset, but he was adamant.2017-06-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
Growing audio business spreading its wings overseas audio business spreading its wings overseasIt is a challenge to find a time slot long enough to speak to Marius Marais about his business. The owner of a bustling sound-management firm specialising in live shows has just returned from Namibia where he set up the sound equipment for a corporate classical music event in the desert.2017-06-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
Plucky entrepreneurs not scared of steep learning curves entrepreneurs not scared of steep learning curvesWith nothing more than a laptop, a website and lots of chutzpah, Wouter and Tammy du Plessis managed to land a R1.6m contract for the supply of tents, launching their fledgling events management company into business success.2017-05-30T22:00:00.0000000Z
Lifestyle change leads to incredible journey change leads to incredible journeyIt has been ten years, almost to the day, since Leisel Petrie opened her day-care centre in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, with one child and one teacher. Today, her Incredible Kids Day Care has grown into a fully-fledged preschool with 220 children and 40 staff members.2017-05-29T22:00:00.0000000Z
Franchise synergy forged in baptism of fire synergy forged in baptism of fireLike any human relationship, the one between franchisor and franchisee can be fraught with personality clashes and conflicts of interest, but when it works, it is capable of huge business boosting power.2017-04-28T22:00:00.0000000Z
Love of pioneering drives busy entrepreneur of pioneering drives busy entrepreneurIt is not unusual for entrepreneurs to have somewhat varied careers, mostly starting off as an employee in the business world somewhere before launching a business or two of their own. But very few entrepreneurs show such a remarkable ability to move in and out of corporate employment, academia and entrepreneurship as JW Swanepoel.2017-04-28T22:00:00.0000000Z
Entrepreneur engineers his freedom from the shackles of an office engineers his freedom from the shackles of an officeMany business owners measure their success by the size of their workforce or square-meterage of their shop floors. None of these yardsticks are important to Francois Mouton, a 59-year-old industrial property developer who runs a multi-million rand business without a single employee, not even a secretary.2017-03-26T22:00:00.0000000Z
Dream comes true as restaurant gets off to a flying start comes true as restaurant gets off to a flying startTo the millions of visitors to the Cape Town Waterfront, the Marina Vista restaurant is a new reason to keep coming back – breath-taking views, a joyful, relaxed atmosphere and a sense of accessible luxury.2017-02-23T22:00:00.0000000Z
Local manufacturer points the way to world-class opportunities manufacturer points the way to world-class opportunitiesAnyone in doubt about South Africa’s potential for economic growth and world-class business opportunities needs to look no further than what Martin Gassner has managed to achieve with two small plastic-injection-moulding companies in Cape Town.2017-02-23T22:00:00.0000000Z
Building a business from less than nothing a business from less than nothingSome successful entrepreneurs start multi-million rand businesses with nothing but their ingenuity and determination. Hermanus van Niekerk started his with way less than nothing – almost R1 million of debt that he had no hope of paying off.2017-01-26T22:00:00.0000000Z
You've got to rest to keep going, says round-the-clock entrepreneur've got to rest to keep going, says round-the-clock entrepreneurJaap de Bruyn finds himself in one of those relentless round-the-clock industries in which it seems impossible to take a holiday, yet he is adamant that every person in his 700-strong workforce, including himself, needs to take their annual leave – not because the law says so, but because it is a crucial part of keeping fit for business.2017-01-26T22:00:00.0000000Z