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Black Pearl Recruitment: Chuma Qamba-Madyibi & Busi Sibiya

Two young women turn recruitment challenges to advantages by getting to know their clients

Juliet Pitman

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Chuma Busi

Chuma Qamba-Madyibi, co-founder of BlackPearl Recruitment, describes herself as a born sales person. She’s determined,straightforward and outgoing. “My approach is far softer than Chuma’s,” saysher partner, Busi Sibiya. The combination has well worked for them in anindustry renowned for being oversaturated and extremely competitive, securingthem the likes of SABC, Barloworld and FNB as clients, to name a few.

Corporate HR departments are harassed on analmost weekly basis by new recruitment agencies. Black Pearl has succeededthrough a combination of networking, relationship-building, patience andtenacity. With previous experience as recruitment consultants, Qamba-Madyibiand Sibiya made use of the contacts they had developed over the years but, asQamba-Madyibi points out, “As much as we have networked, we have also cold-calledand knocked on new doors. You do get turned away but you can’t let itdemotivate you. You have to be a bit like a rash sometimes and just not goaway!” That said, Sibiya points to the importance of building long-termrelationships. “When we call a client, it’s not just about getting a job specthat day. It’s an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the prospect and get toknow them and their business. If you build a relationship with them, the jobspecs will eventually come.”

Before they even picked up the phone, thepartners firmed up their marketing strategy. “We knew that our profile was keyso we didn’t make one call until we were happy that it was perfect andto-the-point,” they say. “But we also knew that many companies will turn to theback page because they’re only interested in cost, so ensuring we were pricedcompetitively was also important,” adds Qamba-Madyibi.Getting job specs, however, was only halfthe battle won. There are many recruitment agencies in the industry, but thereare very few good ones; a new agency has to work hard to prove it’s not justanother appalling service provider. In this regard, Black Pearl has doneeverything right. “Face-to-face contact with the client is something we believein strongly,” says Sibiya. The company prefers to meet with clients for a newjob spec instead of getting it over the phone or via email. “Not only does itgive you a chance to cement your relationship with people, but it also offersthe opportunity to ask questions so that you can make sure you’re on the samepage as the client. And visiting a client’s offices gives you a good feel forthe corporate culture. This is so important when choosing candidates,” sheadds.

One of their challenges has been convincingbig corporates that they are up to the task, in spite of being a young, smallcompany. But youth has its plusses – it generally goes hand-in-hand withtenacious confidence and self-belief. Being small has also worked to theiradvantage – clients are assured that the partners handle each job specpersonally. “Clients know that dealing with Black Pearl means dealing with oneof us,” says Sibiya. “The thing we’re most proud of is the confidence and trustclients have developed in us. The fact that they give us repeat business is immenselysatisfying,” says Qamba-Madyibi.While they’re happy to remain small fornow, the partners have big plans for Black Pearl and want to expand theirservices to include training. “We want to be a one-stop outsourced HR partner,”explains Sibiya.

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

CEOwise

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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