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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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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton

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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton

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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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