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Difference Between a Brand and a Business

My existence is purely down to my family period. Blackstone Bookshop is no different. It’s a family affair and we have all played a role in bringing this idea to a reality. I saw a gap in the market and made a suggestion to the family about the idea. After toying around the idea for a little while, the idea became a reality in 2010 and upon my return home in December 2010, I was then ‘on the ground’ involved in the daily operations and trying to understand the business landscape in Zimbabwe again. Continue Reading →

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Getting Our Hands Dirty with Urban Farming

We didn’t plan on being mushroom farmers. During the last semester of our university careers, Nikhil lined up a corporate consulting job and I nabbed one in investment banking. Continue Reading →

The Brief: What It Would Take To Be On Top

Yacoob Carr is the founder of Munaaz Catering Equipment. Growing up in an average family, he constantly took steps that would make him everything but average. The dreamer turned successful young entrepreneur worked through the challenges of his entrepreneurial journey, landing himself as one of the most influential players in the catering industry of Africa.

Quiq-e with Laurian: Siba the Entrepreneur Part II

Quiq-e is a bite-sized entertainment show hosted by Laurian Nortje. In this episode, Siba Mtongana talks about the importance for women and other young people to own their business ventures. She also gives health tips for entrepreneurs needing to keep up a high level of energy throughout the day. Siba is a celebrity chef known best for hosting the Food Network show Siba’s Table.

Quiq-e with Laurian: Siba the Entrepreneur

Quiq-e is a bite-sized entertainment show presented by Laurian Nortje. In this episode, celebrity chef Siba Mtongana reveals how she stays at the competitive edge of her industry by keeping abreast of local and international trends. Mtongana is best known for hosting the Food Network show Siba’s Table.

Confessions: Never Too Late to Start Again

I am a technology fanatic. This should always be clear. I am Angolan, young, and fascinated by the meeting of imagination and creation that technology always facilitates. My relationship with technology proves to me, every day, that I (as an individual) and we (as a population) are creators first and creatives at best. Continue Reading →

For the Love of Travel

Ever found a place during your travels you loved so much that you wish you could find a way to stay there forever?  Forget going home, and continue with your job in a professional capacity. I believe that this is how my journey began: I found that place in Pemba, Mozambique. I had no idea that I would set up a business outside of my own country, but when I got a call one day from the owner of the lodge that I once called a second home, I realised that I had to buy it. I had to save the guest house from closing down, take a risk, and test my cards in the field of enterprise. A million thoughts crossed my mind, forcing me to sit on the offer for two months without doing anything. It wasn’t a simple decision between yes and no; rather, it was a matter of what could I see myself doing for the next years of my life? Being young and single meant that I had no other obligations. I had saved some money over time. But could I pour all my savings into one business venture that was, at that time, already failing?

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18. Father to Four. Entrepreneur

In Africa, Kampala is known as the capital of chaos. But out of chaos, something surprising always emerges: solutions. With a youthful population (over half under 15 years of age) and an even younger technology and energy scene – the raw energy of excitement in the Ugandan capital is tangible. Young and hungry technologists are pushing the boundaries of innovation daily, creating sustainable solutions to everyday challenges from their bedrooms. This naiveté to the tech awakening has brought a social solution to the pressure of corruption.

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On the Social Side

The Social Vibe (TSV) – as a play on words – taps into our characters as individuals and strategy as entrepreneurs. Personally, we love people. Professionally, we have created a way to bring out the humanity in the investment game by creating what we see potentially to be the mind-map of entrepreneurship in South Africa for investors.

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Success Costs One Cent!

 We never can tell just how low an auction will end. But more recently we’ve had a return flight to Bali go for $11.03 and a return flight to New York for just $4.06.

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Quiq-e with Laurian: Lazuli designer—future doctor by day, successful fashion entrepreneur by night

Quiq-e is a bite-sized entertainment show presented by Laurian Nortje. In this episode we meet up with Layla Cassim of Lazuli to talk about design, passion, brand growth, and juggling med-school with the challenges of entrepreneurship.

The Black Female Voice

I am a young black woman who self-identifies as a black feminist. I am inspired by the ideals of black consciousness, womanism and pan-Africanism. Those ideals are the foundation for what I do on a daily basis as a young media entrepreneur who wants to tell the stories of Africans in general and African women in particular. The work that I do is about consciousness-raising, and ensuring that as young black people we have the freedom and ability to realise our full potential in a world that affirms us.

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Quiq-e with Laurian: Trevor Stuurman—Elle Magazine Style Reporter

Quiq-e is a bite-sized entertainment show presented by Laurian Nortje. In this episode we meet up with South Africa’s fashion and photography industry heavyweight Trevor Stuurman. We talk entrepreneurship, social media and design, all rolled up in a quiq-e.

Quiq-e with Laduma Ngxokolo of Maxhosa: Africa’s Trendiest Designer

Quiq-e is bite-sized entertainment show presented by Laurian Nortje. In this episode we meet up with internationally acclaimed Laduma Ngxokolo to talk business, design, magazine covers and creativity—all knitted together in a quiq-e.

A Modern Day Classic: The Untold Story of the Spinach King

Lufefe Nomjana is one of South Africa’s most celebrated young entrepreneurs. After creating spinach bread, he quickly found international fame as the “spinach king.” But the journey of the entrepreneur wasn’t always easy. After being exposed to the “wrong side” of life he found his way back to his “purpose” and started the company, all to leave a legacy for his family.

It is Not “African Fashion,” It is Design!

I didn’t have many opportunities at home. At the time where I should have been preparing to attend a tertiary education institution in Burkina Faso I was discouraged by the socio-economic environment that plagued my immediate society.  There were public issues at the time. With strikes mushrooming at the corner of every university campus in the country, I knew I had to get out – at least for myself. Continue Reading →

Twelve and only getting started.

I am just another twelve year old girl with friends, homework and hobbies. The only thing different about me is that I followed my dream (with the help of my parents of course!) They wanted me to know they believed in me, and that I too should believe in myself. Continue Reading →

Waste Not, Want Not: The Shoe that Changed it All!

“You are your most valuable asset and resource, and can be exploited to achieve great things.” —Roberto Gallotta, Co-Founder of Sols Sandals

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Next stop, success!

In the year of my matriculation from high school there was a sudden boom in interest for premium virgin hair. This kind of hair was not easily accessible. The market was not saturated either. So, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. I recall sitting at a hair salon, one day, and over hearing my hair-dresser in converse about their launch. They were looking for models to showcase the stock of  the premium virgin hair by a supplier. The audacity in me saw an opportunity. Getting up from my chair, I approached the hair-dresser and told him that I could arrange the girls for free (given that they would receive premium hair to the value of R3000). It was my buy-in; my “research costs” to acquaint myself with the supplier. We met at the launch, cut out the middle man, and the rest is history. Continue Reading →

The Lucrative Business of Black Market Products

I first tasted the entrepreneurial career when I was 8 years old. I was in primary school, selling football cards to my classmates. I would say to them: ‘why buy a pack and only end up with one that you need, when you can buy the three that you need from me, for the same amount?” I had mastered my first lesson: sales. To be an entrepreneur is to be a salesmen. The rest is detail.

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Is There Value in Entering a Congested Market?

Bokang Lehabe, the founder of Bookha Creations considers the challenges of entering a congested market, especially as a young entrepreneur with no experience and no capital. Is there always a way? Let us know what you think.

When Curious Conservatives Come Out to Play

Valerie Armani founder of Kahvarah seeks to find the middle ground between curiosity and being conservative within her clothing brand. She finds that experimenting with her ideas helps her learn quickly, whilst testing them out in the market shows her whether or not they are practical. Is it the practical who succeed, or the experimental? We don’t know. You tell us!

Farm, Yale, Wall Street: It’s a Tech Experience

Aaron Fuchs, co-founder of iXperience shares on testing his idea in the market shortly after conceptualizing it. As a farm boy who graduated from Yale and later went to work on Wall Street, Aaron started iXperience (a summer tech academy in Cape Town) as a solution to his social conscience.

Empower Your Distribution Channel to Grow Your Business

Zoe, co-founder of Niche Hair Care (which is the distributing company for the successful T444Z brand) shares on the opportunities gained by entrepreneurs once they know about the market that they are in. It is always about research. Zoe shares on how the company has empowered its distribution channels to help grow the business.

In Time There is Always a Way – DJ Zinhle the Entrepreneur

DJ Zinhle, the celebrated personality, shares on her lessons learnt in starting her watch and accessories brand: Era by DJ Zinhle. She has discovered that there is always a way – there’s always a solution for any entrepreneurial problem – one must just find it.

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I Am an Individual – With a Great Purpose

I am orphaned,  but I don’t do pity parties. I have been applauded under the banner of feminism several times, but there is more to my story than an agenda. There is a cause.

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A Vegetable Quiq-e: Creating a Global Brand

Casey Veggies and Anwar Carrots of Peas & Carrots International share on their creative tips to building a global brand. Revolutionizing street culture the entrepreneurial team has branched into South Africa after finding success in the United States and United Kingdom.

Being an Entrepreneur: 15% Passion. The Rest? Admin

My Name is Damian Goliath. I grew up in Kimberley. I am the eldest of four boys who were raised in a single parent home. Life was pretty tough. From a young age I had to learn to fight for what I wanted. I attended good schools due to scholarships I earned for cricket and hockey. I also ended up losing those scholarships as I was a rebellious mischievous boy to say the least.

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K-Word: Unapologetic Street Wear

Quiq-e is a bite-sized entertainment show hosted by Laurian Nortje. In this episode, we profile K-WORD: a socially conscious women’s street wear brand. Founder Cherize Ross shares on the opportunities for women entrepreneurs to break the glass ceiling—especially in the street wear market.

Stitching to Make it: Urban Culture 101

Diva and Sarah of Merwe Mode (a young South African Fashion Label that’s mixing its European street fashion influences with the creativity and independence of South African designs) dispels the myths about being successful in the fashion industry: “it’s not…about how you dress…it’s how the stitching looks!”