Dreams come true for en­trepreneurs

Tak­ing SA for­ward with fi­nan­cial aid

CityPress - - Voices -

Es­tab­lished in 2002, MMQS has grown to be­come an op­er­a­tion with 47 em­ploy­ees, 36 of whom are qual­i­fied quan­tity sur­vey­ors.

The NEF’s funding has led to the cre­ation of a fur­ther 18 jobs for qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als. The funding was used for soft­ware and equip­ment, work­ing cap­i­tal, con­tin­gen­cies and fur­ther ex­pan­sion.

The NEF says MMQS passed its funding re­quire­ments with fly­ing colours thanks to the fact that it is 100% op­er­ated by young black peo­ple and is po­si­tioned to pro­pel trans­for­ma­tion in a sec­tor that is prov­ing slow to em­brace BEE.

MMQS pro­vides con­sult­ing ser­vices, from which it earns fees.

These ser­vices in­clude con­struc­tion con­tract law, con­struc­tion project au­dit­ing, con­struc­tion management, life cy­cle cost­ing, value en­gi­neer­ing, value management, con­struc­tion pro­cure­ment and project ex­e­cu­tion plans.

Among the flag­ship projects com­pleted by MMQS are the Royal Bafo­keng Sports Palace Fifa 2010 up­grade, the Le­bone II Col­lege of the Royal Bafo­keng, the Absa Tow­ers North Absa con­sol­i­da­tion project and the Voor­spoed De Beers di­a­mond mine. NEF funding - R10 mil­lion. fuel. It holds a fuel whole­sale li­cence from the depart­ment of min­er­als and en­ergy.

Fi­nesse En­ergy’s found­ing mem­bers are Malose Le­olo and Ger­ald Seloana, who jointly hold 85% of the busi­ness. The bal­ance (15%) is owned by Martin Phoshoko.

Fi­nesse En­ergy ser­vices smaller pri­vate busi­nesses. NEF funding - R9 mil­lion. Owned by Wanda and Mbali Zama, who ap­plied for and re­ceived funding from the NEF to take over an ex­ist­ing petrol sta­tion in Soshanguve, Pre­to­ria.

They al­ready had one service sta­tion and this was a log­i­cal ex­ten­sion of their busi­ness as the NEF de­ter­mined that they ran the service sta­tion well and also sold vast quan­ti­ties of petrol in the area.

The com­pany is 100% black-owned and 50% woman-owned. NEF funding - R5.1 mil­lion. The NEF also funds fran­chises and when four busi­ness part­ners – Tshepo See­mane, Tshepo Ndlovu, Des­mond Matamu and Von­gani Mashaba – ap­proached the or­gan­i­sa­tion with a pro­posal to open a Pick n Pay store in the Tsh­wane in­ner city, a loan of R6.6 mil­lion was given to the part­ners.

The store has cre­ated 102 jobs and is man­aged by See­mane.

This fran­chise is 100% black-owned.

Dur­ban­ite Nothando Zungu (28) had a sim­ple idea for a busi­ness – trans­port­ing staff to their jobs at re­tail out­lets. Her com­pany was awarded a con­tract by the Ed­con Group Work Force Management divi­sion to pro­vide a shut­tle service for staff who were do­ing stock­tak­ing at var­i­ous stores around Dur­ban. At first, she hired vehicles to shut­tle the workers, but the Ed­con con­tract re­quired her to own at least five minibuses. She ap­proached the NEF, which sup­plied her with R1.8 mil­lion so that she could buy the vehicles. “I am a mar­ket­ing grad­u­ate. I be­lieve en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills are learnt at an early age and you have to have the de­sire for busi­ness to make it,” Zungu said. “I al­ways wanted to be an en­tre­pre­neur – it’s just that, af­ter school, it wasn’t quite clear what busi­ness sec­tor I was go­ing to be in. As a mar­ket­ing per­son, I en­joy re­search, so I did my re­search and then my interest fo­cused more on the trans­port sec­tor. “I started by en­gag­ing the cor­po­rate in­dus­try by of­fer­ing staff trans­port ser­vices. At the time I started of­fer­ing the trans­port ser­vices, I had no vehicles. I got a huge op­por­tu­nity with a na­tional re­tail group and that was the foun­da­tion of my busi­ness,” Zungu ex­plained. “Although I was run­ning the busi­ness well, I was not mak­ing a profit be­cause I had to out­source driv­ers and vehicles to meet my stake­holder de­mands. “This is where NEF came in as a struc­ture of sup­port by pro­vid­ing me with the re­sources to sta­bilise and grow my busi­ness for my own fi­nan­cial gain as a young South African,” she said. Zungu de­cided to ap­proach the NEF for funding as­sis­tance be­cause she had ap­plied to sev­eral funding houses, but “none was as pro­fes­sional and en­ter­prise ori­ented as the NEF”. “The NEF process is dif­fer­ent from other funding houses – the or­gan­i­sa­tion goes beyond pro­vid­ing an emerg­ing en­tre­pre­neur with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance. To­day, I can proudly say that it has guided me and taught me the cor­rect way to per­form daily busi­ness prac­tices, which pos­i­tively in­flu­ences the op­er­a­tion and growth of my busi­ness. “The NEF gave me an op­por­tu­nity to share my busi­ness interest, and pro­vided a for­mal in­ter­view plat­form, which made me feel that I was being taken seriously. Ev­ery step that needed to be made dur­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion process was al­ways clearly ex­plained to me,” she said. “I re­ceived a lot of sup­port dur­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion process as I learnt busi­ness prac­tices that I have im­ple­mented in my busi­ness. With the NEF, the process con­tin­ues even af­ter the fi­nanc­ing. I love that we have on­go­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion – it keeps me work­ing, en­sur­ing that the cor­po­rate ser­vices side of the busi­ness runs well. I am con­tin­u­ally look­ing to grow my com­pany,” she said.

PAY IT FOR­WARD Through a part­ner­ship and with help from the NEF, Stylco Em­pow­er­ment has so far been able to em­ploy 84 staff mem­bers

Nothando Zungu

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