Kwa-Thema was treated to its first ever Township Business Gala Dinner hosted at the community hall on Sunday.
Thokozani Dladla, the host and chairman of KN Foundation, said one of the aims of the event was to engage on ways to bring radical economic emancipation in the area.
The local community is vested with many entrepreneurship opportunities to help improve the lives of those living in it.
Bathabile Moreki, an entrepreneur, illustrated the importance of access to the local economic market and encouraged the community to use it to its advantage. “Township franchises contribute a large stake to the total national Gross Domestic Product.”
However, she added that the local community is not benefiting from
these businesses. “Local community members are just consumers and not service providers, which is a problem because in turn these franchises outsource services from neighbouring towns, mainly because there are no service providers in the local community, bridging the gap and serving these businesses with relevant services.”
To help up-and-coming entrepreneurs, the speakers painted cardinal points for growing business:
- Build networks and collaborations.
- Always work on a legal framework not a “gentlemen’s handshake”.
- Compliance is an essential backbone for every business: A business plan and tax clearance certificate are significant even when seeking sponsors.
- Start business with money saved for business. Never mix personal and business accounts.
Moreki has a mentorship programme to help upcoming entrepreneurs needing help with compliance and many other business-related matters. More information regarding the programme can be found on her Facebook page, ‘Nothileconsulting’.
Thabang Mabuza, another local entrepreneur who was advising other entrepreneurs, said: “Purpose has a price, and a young person must pay the price of purpose in order to make it to the top.”
Also part of the event was Skinny Sbu Socks, an entrepreneur who has made a name for himself by producing his own line of socks and distributing them nationwide. He was honoured with any award on the night. He said he had been recognised nationwide and won different awards, “but to be honoured at home means everything to me.”
Entrepreneurs were encouraged to ensure that documentation is on order, never give up on seeking funding, and to work hard to improve their craft.