Weaving the future of African fashion

Khaya Sithole of Menspoke Atelier says his business is driven by the vision to create a proudly South African brand – powerful enough to compete globally while allowing him to share his passion for bespoke tailoring with other men. Khaya is the founding Creative Director at Menspoke Atelier – a bespoke tailoring house specializing in shirt making and accessories.

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All About the Beauty… and Brains

Award-winning entrepreneur Lebo Mpela’s introduction to entrepreneurship was influenced by the need to have fashionable nails without compromising the health of her own natural nails. “I drew from my own bad experiences with acrylic nails and the damage that they cause. That’s why our product is a three-free formula because it doesn’t contain the three toxic chemicals commonly found in nail polish – your nails still grow and remain strong underneath.”

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Creating the World’s Greatest Smartphone Lenses for Any Phone Camera (Part One)

In this quiq-e, founders of Limelens share on their journey to building the world’s greatest smartphone lenses. Driven to create products that integrate into the daily lives of ordinary people, the company has seen great growth as a result of creating tools that reinvent old technology.

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.

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.”

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

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

Join the Tribe

Kate Nero of Tribe Coffee narrates her journey to owning a third of one of Africa’s most successful coffee brands. After working for a competitor, she and her partners thought to themselves: “Why can’t we do that?” The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Continue Reading →

Anything But Average

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, situating himself as one of the most influential players in Africa’s catering industry.

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: 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.

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.

Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?

2Bop, the video game inspired brand, is one of the most influential street wear brands dominating the Southern African market. Their secret to success? Growing slowly and steadily – taking it one step at a time.


Passion. Care. Ubuntu

“Passion, Care (as the root of everything that I do) and Ubuntu” are the three words that describe me. Passion, because i’m passionate. Care, is the lense with which I look and measure my actions and those of others around me. Ubuntu, because it is the centre of my ethos, I believe in the African philosophy that we are all equal and interconnected – we are not fully human alone. This opinion is the absolute foundation of everything that I do in business.

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The Blue Ocean of Interior Design

When I was a kid I used to spend hours making furniture for my Barbies and setting up their home before I even got to the actual ‘playing’. As a teenager my mother would also quip that if you stood in one place in my room for too long, you would be painted and redecorated. The art of design has always been a part of me. This passion, God, family and friends is collectively the inspiration that allows me to overcome all the challenges I face in pursuing the dream: Sion Studios. Continue Reading →

The Business of Discrimintation

David Morfaw from Cameroon, founder of Poult-Voult Inc, confesses about his worst day in business. “N****, leave us, because you haven’t put much money in!”

Morfaw is the 20 year old founder of one of Africa’s fastest growing agriculture business.

Work to make your idea work!

Jeffrey Mulaudzi – a 22 year old entrepreneur based in Johannesburg – talks about the key to his entrepreneurial success: hard work. His strategy is simple: you have to work hard on your ideas for them to work in the market. At all times, you also have to treat your clients like kings. #entrepreneurship101 Sometimes, its the simple things that make the difference!

Definition: Social Entrepreneurship…

Thato, founder of Repurpose Schoolbags, felt the need to do something about school kids in her community carrying books in plastic bags, and decided to re-purpose the bags making them durable and environmentally friendly. Thato is the runner up for the 2014 Anzisha Prize

Entrepreneur by passion. Googler by Spirit

3 companies started. 1200 entrepreneurs helped. 100 business plans. 163 stamps in 2 passports. 49.6 days in planes. 33 800 hours studied after high school. 61 950 hours on a computer.

Craig Wing, one of Africa’s most influential entrepreneurs, talks entrepreneurship and office culture in a quiq-e.

Change Starts Now

For a nation that once boasted the likes of Sony, Toyota and Mitsubishi as its entrepreneurial heralds, Japan’s entrepreneurial record in the new millennium is surprisingly sparse. Entrepreneurs in Japan have become the exception rather than the norm. There are a range of issues that impede entrepreneurial activity. Common problems faced by aspiring entrepreneurs include the lack of venture capital, labyrinthine government regulations, and the dominance of large companies. Yet for all these factors, it takes two hands to clap – you need both an environment conducive to startups as well as people who aspire to be entrepreneurs. Thankfully, I am one of them.

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My Worst Day: Rejected at the Eleventh Hour

Zuko and Zukile Mabombo, the founders of Khayelitsha Ushers, share their story on how they survived their biggest business disappointment yet. Today the brothers have found a way to make a success out of their business idea – getting back up, after they were knocked down!

Most Worst Day: Rise and Fall of a Millionaire

Raymond Vicani, founder of Raymond Landscaping and Gardening Services, tells the story of how his landscape company rose to success and quickly lost all of it…in the same year. Moral of the story? Choose your partners wisely!

My Worst Day: 18 Gangster Museum

Wandisile Nqeketho shares on the disappointments he’d face as a young entrepreneur looking for funding for his interactive gangster museum

My Worst Day: Closing a Deal Before Cash

Siyavuya Mlungu is an entrepreneur at Hubspace Khayelitsha – an incubator for entrepreneurs in limited resource communities. His company, Growth Business Consultancy, mentors small business entrepreneurs. He often asks entrepreneurs the question: do you have a customer?


Africa’s Android Solar Powered Computer

Founder of Capsule Technologies introduces Africa’s android solar powered computer to the market. The innovative project that has the potential to influence the technology space of South Africa, was developed in a small room at TheBarn.