Tooled up for suc­cess

Sunday World - - WORLD OF JOBS - BATLILE PHALADI pha­l­adib@sun­day­

FOR ev­ery­one hav­ing the heart for busi­ness, start­ing is easy but get­ting it to be com­pet­i­tive re­quires cre­ative strate­gies.

With South Africa ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a high rate of youth unem­ploy­ment, the value of start­ing your own busi­ness has never been so es­sen­tial.

Three young en­trepreneurs who be­lieve in skills devel­op­ment among the youth are show­ing how to start a busi­ness and main­tain steady growth, un­til re­al­is­ing its full po­ten­tial.

One of them is Japhta Mokoko from Fochville, west of Joburg, who is busi­ness-minded even though he did not do com­mer­cial sub­jects at school.

This year, he says he tried his luck by en­ter­ing the 2016 SME Tool­kit SA Global En­trepreneur­ship Week s

’ Busi­ness Plan Com­pe­ti­tion for As­pir­ing Young En­trepreneurs.

He was rep­re­sent­ing his com­pany, Jayspec­trum Trad­ing and Projects.

Mokoko, Bahle Nteleki and Maz­izi Njok­weni of Po­di­a­trists were this week an­nounced as the re­gional win­ners for Jo­han­nes­burg at an awards cer­e­mony in Braam­fontein.

Nteleki is from Mamelodi in Pretoria and Njok­weni from Bekkers­dal in the west of Joburg.

The com­pe­ti­tion, which is open to in­di­vid­u­als be­tween the ages of 18 and 35, aims to have a pos­i­tive im­pact on promis­ing South African en­trepreneurs by bridg­ing the gap be­tween sim­ply hav­ing an idea and ac­tu­ally launch­ing a start-up busi­ness.

Mokoko, who is an artis­tic glass de­signer and man­u­fac­turer, said he started his busi­ness af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing a large gap in his lo­cal mar­ket for dec­o­ra­tive sand­blast­ing. I al­ways strug­gled to get ahead in “life so I grew up know­ing there are al­ways hur­dles be­fore vic­tory,” said Mokoko.

He has been hon­ing his craft since 2008, and in 2016 he made the leap to­wards estab­lish­ing his own busi­ness with a course in busi­ness man­age­ment un­der his belt.

His tar­get mar­ket for his glass de­signs is broad, rang­ing from home own­ers to shop­ping cen­tres and in­dus­trial parks.

The other win­ners, Nteleki and Njok­weni, said they had al­ways been in­ter­ested in busi­ness from the time they were at univer­sity. In 2009 while we were still at “univer­sity we heard about the com­pe­ti­tion from so­cial me­dia and then went on the SME Tool­kit web­site to learn more about the com­pe­ti­tion and its re­quire­ments,” said the en­trepreneurial pair.

Nteleki said they wanted to know more about the com­mer­cial as­pect of busi­ness like com­pil­ing a pro­fes­sional busi­ness plan, fi­nan­cial pro­jec­tions, mar­ket­ing and brand­ing.

The two cer­ti­fied po­di­a­trists said they have set their sights on the oc­cu­pa­tional health in­dus­try and plan to fo­cus on in­di­vid­u­als who are em­ployed in in­dus­tries that re­quire the use of safety boots. While pro­tect­ing the foot from “ex­ter­nal dan­gers, safety footwear can cause se­vere com­pli­ca­tions in the lower limbs and foot,” said Nteleki. These prob­lems can

“pre­vent the suf­ferer from func­tion­ing prop­erly and may re­sult in over­all poor work per­for­mance.”

Njok­weni said this busi­ness would not only ren­der po­di­atric in­ter­ven­tions for its cus­tomers, but would also pro­vide a va­ri­ety of cus­tomised in­ner­sole de­vices, orthotics and footwear mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

The fi­nal win­ners will be an­nounced at an awards cer­e­mony in Joburg dur­ing Global En­trepreneur­ship Week next month.

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