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 Female entrepreneur recognised for building a foundation for SA's youngsters

 

 Local Port Elizabeth entrepreneur, Leisel Petrie, owner and manager of Incredible Kids Day Care, was awarded the Entrepreneur title in the Business Women’s Association Regional Achievers Awards at a ceremony hosted in Port Elizabeth last week. She was awarded for her belief in making a difference in the country by teaching the younger generation good values, confidence and a solid base for future education to allow them to grow into true leaders of South Africa.

The Awards platforms aims to empower women in business and each year actively seeks to identify, acknowledge and recognise women led initiatives and excellence in the business, corporate, professional and social arena.

Incredible Kids Day Care – which offers full time day care centre to children between the ages of three months and five years – was started in June 2007 in partnership with a friend. Petrie however soon realised that she could develop the business more successfully on her own and subsequently acquired her partner’s share of the business in 2009.

Through her continued hard work and dedication, as well as constantly reminding herself to ‘dream big’, Petrie got her business off the ground. “It is not about a fancy university degree or coming from a wealthy family that guarantees your success in business, but your own efforts. Believing in yourself and striving to be the best, you will succeed and make a true difference in the world.”

Petrie says that having grown up in municipal flats, and not knowing when she would be eating her next meal, she realised at an early age that life was going to be what she made of it.

Having started the business with only one employee and one client for the first month of operation, Incredible Kids Day Care quickly grew to two new staff members and an additional six children in the second month. Originally operating out of rented premises in Newton Park, the site became too small which led Petrie to purchase the property next door, and today operates out of two adjoining properties which includes a dedicated computer room and art studio for 85 children.

“We are passionate about entrepreneurs and as a result provide solutions that respond to their business requirements and that includes providing business and property finance and operational premises for entrepreneurs,” says Willem Bosch, coo for property management services at Business Partners Limited.

Petrie’s business continues to grow daily and today boasts a staff complement of 27 members. A new branch, which was opened in the Walmer Downs Family Centre, William Moffett Expressway in January 2015, is already home to 89 children. In addition, Petrie now offers a catering service to the parents and friends of the day care to raise additional funds for on-going maintenance and improvements.

“We always aim to go above and beyond the parent’s expectations. The William Moffett branch is our chance to expand the business and take it to new heights,” says Petrie.

When asked what type of obstacles she needed to overcome to start and grow her business, Petrie explains that it was getting parents to entrust their children to the care of Incredible Kids Day Care as the company didn’t have a previous record or word of mouth reputation. “From the outset this was a difficult task as in this business reputation, integrity and solid values are critical, and all of this had to be built up day by day.”

However, it is now her business’ solid foundation that Petrie believes gives Incredible Kids Day Care the competitive edge. She explains that it is the business’ belief in making a difference in the lives of not only the children and their parents, but also the staff and their families. “We seek to make a difference in the lives of our staff and their communities by educating and training them with different life skills which are useable both in and out of the workplace. I believe that a happy and educated staff member will be more of an asset in the lives of the children we are entrusted to take care of and educate daily,” concludes Petrie.


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