From para­medic to sk­in­care en­tre­pre­neur

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

WORK­ING in health care made mdubeki want to fo­cus on heal­ing.

Nqubeko Mdubeki’s (38) ex­pe­ri­ence as a para­medic and in­ter­est in nat­u­ral sk­in­care prod­ucts en­sured the birth of his busi­ness, Um­n­deni Health and Beauty Prod­ucts.

“I used to see chil­dren in hospi­tal with eczema, ring­worm, a rash and mos­quito bites, and I started re­search­ing nat­u­ral reme­dies for skin in­fec­tions,” he said. Mdubeki, from Grey­town in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Mid­lands, re­signed from his job as a para­medic in 2013 to fo­cus on his sk­in­care prod­uct line.

Um­n­deni man­u­fac­tures a jelly made of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, such as aloe, garlic, cam­phor and cit­ronella. The prod­uct is avail­able in over 100 phar­ma­cies and cos­metic out­lets in KZN and Gaut­eng.

Mdubeki em­ploys six per­ma­nent work­ers and re­ceives his aloe sup­ply from women in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“I have trained women to process aloes for the busi­ness. Ev­ery­thing is done in-house, from mix­ing to pack­ag­ing, and I buy garlic from lo­cal farm­ers,” he said. Mdubeki’s self-funded busi­ness has a R600 000 an­nual turnover which he aims to grow.

“It was a prob­lem to get fi­nanc­ing to start my busi­ness. I had no cap­i­tal and started off with my salary. I never for­mally trained to man­u­fac­ture prod­ucts, but I did my re­search,” he said. Look­ing ahead, Mdubeki plans to ex­pand his busi­ness by man­u­fac­tur­ing bath soap.

“I want to grow the busi­ness by sup­ply­ing prod­ucts to other prov­inces and em­ploy­ing more lo­cal peo­ple to sup­ply raw in­gre­di­ents.”

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