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Small Business Friday

Inspiring stories of entreprenuers – Solly MolefeSechoaro
Setsmol is an accredited South African based Housing Education Company. It was conceived out of the observation that most people in South Africa are still in the dark with matters relating to housing, due to lack of property ownership knowledge. Solomon MolefeSechoaro (Solly), founder and director of Setsmol, experienced this personally. While living in Polokwane, he bought a property in the suburb of Westernburg. ‘The developer showed me an empty stand on which they were going to build my house. On completion, I found two houses built on my stand. I tried to raise my unhappiness with the builder concerning the situation but failed. I occupied the house having stress and concern of how many people were being exploited in similar situations.’
Get your business onto the Shop Small Network
The Shop Small Network, the national network of small businesses, is officially launched and will now be the focal point of the Shop Small and Small Business Friday Movement (South Africa’s biggest and most powerful movement that mobilises the nation to support their local small businesses). It is where business, government and the consumer will find and support their local small businesses. TheShop Small Network is the ultimate platform for SMEs to boost sales and drive cash into their businesses. It is about building a customer base quickly and boosting the top line aggressively. A digital profile on this platform is exclusive to NSBC Members. Immediately after joining as an NSBC Member the digital profile is automatically uploaded onto this business-boosting platform.
Inspiring stories of entreprenuers – Shift ONE Digital
Shift ONE is an integrated marketing agency providing marketing, digital marketing and advertising services. It was started by Dylan Kohlstadt five years ago, when she was retrenched after 20 years in the corporate environment. Kohlstadt had often considered an entrepreneurial venture, but had no idea how to go about it. She attended a three-month entrepreneurial course which gave her the courage, motivation and insight to take the plunge. One of the first things Kohlstadt did was get access to a business mentor, a relationship that turned out to be crucial in her first year in business. Another big step was to take office space early on, which she believes has helped her to grow more quickly.
Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs – The Piano Man
The Piano Man is a small, privately owned business that offers a range of services including piano tuning, repairs, restorations, valuations, rentals, sales, and transportation of pianos. Based in Pretoria, they service a client base stretching as far as Maputo and the Botswanan border. Piano tuning is an age old trade passed down from generation to generation. However, it is a dying art in South Africa. Current registered piano tuners are aging to a point where they cannot work, without significant succession plans in place. Raymond Cugnolio identified this as a business opportunity, but also recognizes a responsibility to ensure that the art of piano tuning is not lost in this country.
Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs – Myteksonic
Small Business FridayThree years ago, Jonathan Kgatshe resigned from a well-paying IT manager position, and ventured into the daunting world of entrepreneurship. His company, Myteksonic, is a 100% black owned IT, ProAV and Environmental Monitoring Company located in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is one of the very few companies what offers all of these services under one umbrella. They specialize in digital signal distribution, high-end laser projection, digital signage, IT solutions, IT environmental monitoring systems and electronic multimedia displays. They are also the official Network Technologies Inc distributor for nine southern African countries namely Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs – Let’s Collaborate
Veronique Palmer started ‘Let’s Collaborate’, a SharePoint company, in 2009 out of a desire to find a better way to live. At the time, she was 40 years old, and the economy was in a recession. But her tenacity has paid off and the company has grown consistently year on year and effortlessly signs up the biggest names in business. Twelve awards in seven years are a testament to her success! Incredibly, Palmer has had no start-up capital or funding of any kind at any stage. ‘I had to learn to manage cashflow, and understand that there are good months and bad months - it’s just the nature of the game - and to relax about it.’
Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs – Arrero Car Cologne
Small Business FridayArrero Car Cologne was created by Lizelle Beukes in 2010 because of an interest in luxury, fashion, and fine fragrances. Current air fresheners lack masculine and feminine aromas, and far from resemble the average cologne or perfume. Using the highest quality oils available, and cutting edge technology, Arrero have designed a simple spray air freshener which delivers a designer fragrance. After 17 years in the corporate environment, Beukes decided to take the leap and go into business for herself. For the next six years, her most important skill was resilience. It has been a tough road with many hurdles but she has managed to stay ahead of business closure. Her very first challenge came when Arrero had just started and was registered as Carrero. Within a very short space of time, Beukes received a letter from one of the largest trademark attorney firms in South Africa saying that she was infringing on copyright.
Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs – Little Green Number
Small Business FridayJuanita Van Der Merwe, founder of Little Green Number, was recently awarded the 2016 National Innovation Award at the South African Small Business Awards. Little Green Number is a social business that turns billboard waste into bags. The company has Community Based Micro Manufacturing Franchises (CBMMFs) all over Gauteng and they intend to take this national. They are passionate about eradicating poverty through social business principles: doing good, whilst doing good business. Their aim is to empower individuals through these CBMMFs, while building a profitable and sustainable commercial brand.
eco furniture design
Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs – Eco Furniture Design
Small Business FridayThe winner of the 2016 National Skills Development Award at the South African Small Business Awards, was Eco Furniture Design, a furniture manufacturer, supplier and store, owned by Tameron Haralambous. The company designs and produces stylish, affordable and functional products that are made using local and sustainable materials. Their range includes rustic pieces made from reclaimed and salvaged timber, as well as a sleek and elegant contemporary range.
The company was started from the ground up, with some old wood, a hammer and some rusty nails, with no investment or funding. The intricacies and systems required for a successful business were learnt in a very hands-on manner. When asked what makes Eco Furniture Design different, Haralambous replied: ‘We are focused on making a profit, but more importantly on making a difference in our country. We hire mostly unskilled staff and teach them a skill they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Our staff is like family to us and we are committed to empowering them and making a difference in a small way, also contributing to alleviating the huge issue of unemployment and lack of skills in South Africa.’

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