How to Secure the Market: The Story of New Entrants Taking Over!

David and Chazanne Long are unlikely entrepreneurs in many eyes. The qualified scientists expected to be employed in academia or corporate South Africa. After a decade of employment, the young professionals, resolved to offer a new generation of scientific laboratories and consultancy.

The African Story is Being Retold

“My good friend OfentseLetebele was selected as the BOS Ice Tea design-a-can competition winner in 2014 and he asked me to assist him with his PR campaign to which I agreed because that’s what friends do”, she explains. After a successful campaign, Mamabolo was approached by more young entrepreneurs in her circle to do PR and media relations work.

Dealing with legal issues in your new business venture

No matter how young or old you are when you start a new business the problems all entrepreneurs face are very similar. Start out with a good business plan set out properly because the first problem is likely to be finance; setting up a business requires some capital or line of credit and having a business plan will help secure it. When that problem has been overcome, there are legal issues to think about. The business must be put onto a proper legal footing as soon as possible.

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The cost of being relevant: unravelling the business of art

“We’re in an industry where artists are not respected as business men and women. Artists are taken advantage of because of the need of exposure, where as galleries without art, are just walls,” explains Ronald Muchatuta, a Cape Town based artist who is not afraid to explore controversial topics.

Samantha Ngcolomba: The Modern Age Wonder Woman

“I had come across a story of a woman who was assaulted by her partner.” This is how Samantha Ngcolomba, the bubbly social entrepreneur starts her story. “He placed her in a dustbin, then set it alight. This incident both scarred and inspired me,” she retells in both shock and wonder.

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Yoliswa Cele on Changing the South African Youth Narrative

 

“Young South Africans are only relevant when burning things down. I’d attend economic forums to find in room full of international players, one Nigerian; one Kenyan and no South African. How could this be when South Africa is a giant on the continent,” questions Yoliswa Cele, co-founder of Ndosi Strategies.

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The Unique Experience of Grove Audio

“My first memory of music was Daft Punk’s around the world. I remember it (ironically) blaring through the speakers of the television set at home. It had been a music video. Even though the medium has changed, the love and appreciation for audio continued – even until now.”

Olivia on Making Room in a (Seemingly) Crowded Market

“I don’t operate the same way as other startups in Kenya do. Incubators have mushroomed all over, providing space for startups to engage with one another, as well as engage with investors. This is a good thing, but I prefer silence. I prefer to work in spaces that are peaceful and quiet, where I hear birds chirping in the background.”

Lucy Worsley on building her Empire

“The first day was scary. However, with that there was a sense of freedom: I was delivering to the world my expression of how I saw it. The office space was within the that of my best friends’ office: desk and laptop ready. Simple. I had always known what I wanted to do next.” 

Lucy Worsley is the founder of Empire – an experiential marketing agency with a double folded agenda. First, to take advantage of the burgeoning female economy whilst pursuing the advantage of woman empowerment. Second, to establish a brand that exists on the premise of a shared economy. It lives on the mantra: ‘Listen. Learn. Create. Inspire.’

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The Journey is Long: Keep Pushing

In the last two quarters, several Nigerian e-commerce startups have closed shop… These were all companies with founders, visions, dreams, and a team—and now, they don’t exist. What always struck me is the way [that they close down]: there is never a farewell message on their website, or Twitter or Instagram; even our local tech blogs ignore their demise. It’s almost as if death comes at night and all you’re left with is a homepage link that doesn’t open. Continue Reading →

Stay Motivated for the Long Run

My first paid job was in Germany as a night watchman guarding a paralysed man. The job required me to be awake and watchful most of the time, to correct slumps, and ensure that my ward didn’t have any life-threatening complications at any time. I used to spend the entire night actively writing code to keep awake. —Mark Essien, Nigeria

Mark Essien is a software and mobile development expert. Motivated to be a part of the technological space after watching his father build various mechanical devices, Mark decided to explore the field of Computer Science and Engineering, and founded Hotels.ng. His vibrant startup (founded in 2012) is the largest hotel booking portal in Nigeria, and hit 6000 Hotels sign up in 2014.

Edited by Sharon Green, Editor-in-Chief

Spot the Opportunity

“My co-founder (and husband) Alen Ribic and I came up with the concept for SweepSouth out of a personal need that indicated opportunity. While on holiday in Cape Town one December, we struggled to find help with domestic cleaning. It took us weeks to search the classifieds, ask friends for referrals, and go back and forth via email and phone with cleaners and agencies. Moreover, the cleaners we did speak to were underpaid and unmotivated.

Uber had recently launched in South Africa, and we loved the idea of an ‘Uber for home cleaning’, which also used the technology to provide work opportunities for cleaners. We were excited about the idea of modernising the industry and empowering cleaners to earn fair rates and decide on their own schedules.”

Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth

Don’t Fret the Small Beginnings

Megan Grassell is the 18 year old who made headlines last year for giving up a promising skiing career and postponing university to launch the youth bra company Yellowberry.

After the initial success of the company, she faced capacity challenges. “We were in our living room sitting with hundreds of back orders and not enough products; just getting phone calls, and it was so surreal, it was so crazy!”

“I was so worried… I said, ‘Oh my god, will this continue? Or can we keep it going?’

Over the upcoming months, Grassell’s mom joined as her partner. They found office space and hired several of Grassell’s high school friends to fill the back orders. She created a system of operation to allow the company to grow, and be able to handle the growing interest. She now works with an agency to outsource manufacturing and merchandising. The moral of the story? Capacity-building is what will help you keep the business, when it comes.

Edited by Sharon Green, Editor-in-Chief

Start Somewhere, Then Build!

“Before we started, we were just a bunch of guys in college. When we would walk into a company like MTN to present our ideas, they seemed to look at us and think: ‘You really think you can do this?’

We quickly learned that you have to do something extraordinary in first, before people notice you, and take you seriously. Start somewhere, then build!”

I Am Youngpreneur

Gerard Yitamkey, Co-Founder and CEO of Ahonya: a Ghanaian startup providing an e-commerce platform for electronics and computers.

 

What’s YOUR Opinion?

“The greatest challenge in being an entrepreneur is always having to explain yourself. People always say to me, ‘Wait, what is it that you do again?’”

What matters is not the opinions that others have about what you do, but your own opinions. If you see value in your dream, then continue to chase it! You have to be honest with yourself, as the investor, with regards to the true return value of the enterprise. Dream big, as long as it is still worth it.

Raelene Rorke, the former Miss Teen South Africa, is the co-founder of SpringAge. SpringAge is a consultancy firm that enables youth-led organizations to resolve challenges in innovative ways.

Edited by Sharon Green, Editor-in-Chief

The Difference Between a Brand and a Business

Blackstone Bookshop is 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 my family about the concept. After toying around it for a little while, our idea became a reality in 2010, and upon my return home in December of that year, I was involved in the daily operations and trying to re-integrate myself into the business landscape in Zimbabwe. 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.” —Alejandro Velez Continue Reading →

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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Entrepreneurship For Survival

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 From 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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Empowering 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, feminism, 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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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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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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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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