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Before Time In Soweto – The Décor Hire And Catering Entrepreneurs That Are Growing Their Business Annually

The dad and daughter Soweto-based enterprise – Before Time Indlondlo Events, a catering and events equipment and décor hire company – was launched when a gap in the market was identified about five years ago and has grown steadily, with a strong 70% year on year growth this year.

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Nicole Msibi

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Before Time in Soweto is growing strong

The dad and daughter Soweto-based enterprise – Before Time Indlondlo Events, a catering and events equipment and décor hire company – was launched when a gap in the market was identified about five years ago and has grown steadily, with a strong 70% year on year growth this year.

Nicole Msibi, co-founder with her father Nick Msibi, says they had both been in the hospitality industry, she in catering and as a function organiser, and he as a chef for 30 years. They noticed that at practically every event in Soweto, equipment was hired. It made sense to invest in the sector. Nick resigned from his job and with his pension package, they set up their business, with a warehouse for their equipment based in Protea Glen.

Related: Gemkids – From Montessori Method To Micro Enterprise

Having her own business had been a dream of Nicole’s and she says they put their hearts and souls – and lots of sacrifice – into making it a success.

“What makes the business special is that “we don’t only talk service. We make sure that our customers experience value-added service that goes beyond just providing equipment for hire.”

Though they started with equipment hire, they recently extended their portfolio to include doing décor at events, and catering – to harness Chef Nick’s skills.

While their focus is on Gauteng and particularly Soweto and the surrounds, the business reach is “all over the country” says Nicole. They recently went as far afield as Free State and North West, and are prepared to travel wherever needed.

Before Time has four directors – all family members – four permanent staff members, and four part-time employees. Staff training and development is according to passion and skills, says Nicole, whose responsibilities in the company include operations and customer management, office administration and bookkeeping. “In future I intend to enrol staff on courses that will encourage and grow them as individuals, and the company as well.”

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Future plans include a strong market penetration strategy to grow the business and become well known and respected in the industry. At this stage, Nicole is proud of the fact that Before Time has been given the opportunity to service major clients such as Sandton Convention Centre, Rand Club, and Bidvest. She has also identified a need in Soweto for an efficiently run conference centre that can accommodate about 200 people – for meetings, conferences, celebrations, weddings, and other events.

Related: Noli Mini – The Full Beauty, Wellness And Entrepreneurship Package To Keep An Eye On

Nicole, who was born in Soweto and grew up in Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal, has two children, a teenaged daughter and a 9-year-old daughter. She also has three siblings, and says that while the family is separated by distance, they are very close. “Balancing work life and home life takes organisation and planning. I schedule in family days and birthday parties and set boundaries to make sure I have time for my family.”

Social upliftment and “giving back” is also important to Before Time. The company supports vulnerable children, providing school girls with sanitary protection, school fees for children who cannot afford to pay, and school shoes for children who don’t have any.

Nicole joined Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs at the end of 2016, having exhibited at the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs Showcase at Gold Reef City Theme Park.

“The programme means a lot to me. I have gained self-esteem and I can communicate with people more easily. The coaching helped me believe in myself, work on my goals, collaborate with other businesses in my area, and hold regular staff meetings,” says Nicole. The programme also improved her small business management, business strategy development, and financial and marketing skills.

“Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs gave me light. My business will grow more now that we are connected to this well-known organisation.”

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Bonang Matheba Announced As 2018 AWIEF Awards MC

AWIEF has announced multi –award winning radio host, TV presenter and style icon, Bonang Matheba as the 2018 AWIEF Awards MC and host.

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Bonang Matheba, affectionately referred to by fans as Queen B, has firmly positioned herself as Africa’s most sought after entertainment personality and SA’s number one social media darling.

With just three weeks from recognising, honouring and celebrating women entrepreneurs and business-owners in Africa for their innovation, excellence and contribution towards economic growth and social development, AWIEF has also announced songstress, BUCIE as the music entertainer for the night.

40 Finalists out of more than 1350 nominations were revealed for the AWIEF Awards last month. Winners will be announced at The Westin Hotel in a five-star gala dinner on 9th November 2018.

Tickets to the awards evening are selling fast. To secure your seat, please click here.

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Things Schools Need To Stop Doing To Grow Entrepreneurs

Here are 8 things that would make a significant impact on generating enterprising behaviour.

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It is no secret that the current structure of the education system was designed in an entirely different age to achieve economic outcomes that are no longer viable due, in large, to the rapid innovation and adoption of technology.

But if we are to hope to help President Ramaphosa implement his vision for entrepreneurship as stated in the SONA 2018 address as, “The establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund – which currently stands at R1.5-billion – is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play. Government is finalising a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups,” we need to change how and what schools are teaching for this to be realised on a large scale.

Here are 8 things that would make a significant impact on generating enterprising behaviour:

1. Stop teaching kids using one or two teaching methods

Typically, teachers have defaulted to talking, reading and some visual aids to impact knowledge to learners and those children that don’t learn using these primary methods are at a disadvantaged and are often labelled as challenged. There are at least 6 different ways in which people learn, and entrepreneurs often fall into the lesser known ones. By blending methodologies that include interpersonal, kinaesthetic and intrapersonal with the more traditional ones, entrepreneurs will learn more effectively.

2. Stop Rewarding Conformity

Maybe it comes from a fear of anarchy or lawlessness, but the stringent rules that exist in schools punish children for exhibiting individualism and reward children for staying in line. Quite literally. This unwavering adherence to the rules without question, breeds thinkers of the same calibre and releases into the world children that cannot function without set structures that they must conform to when they actually need to be creatively problem solving in order to make a mark for themselves.

Related: Spark Schools: Adapting At The Speed Of Scale

3. Stop Measuring Memory

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How well a child can retain the dates, figures, theories or equations does not indicate the measure of a child’s intelligence. It only indicates how well their memory works and how adept the learner is at recalling what they have read or been taught. Remembering, according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, is a lower order thinking skill. Instead, let’s measure critical thinking, interrogation of ideas, application of thinking across contexts.

4. Stop Being a Teacher

When the world relied on a central person as the curator of knowledge, the world needed teachers. They were idolised and hailed as a custodian of growth and development due to the fact that they knew more about their subject than anyone else in society.

Today, the internet is the purveyor of information, a teacher if you will, and children no longer need to be taught the information but what to do with it. So long as children can read, the job of person at the front of the class is to educate not to teach.

5. Stop Running a Factory

From the uniforms to the desks to the bell that signals the start and end of lessons and the allotted amount of time dedicated to eating and going to the bathroom, schools are churning out citizens primed for factory work. The production line mentality has been conditioned into our children so much so that with the entry of technological automation and the removal of the human element in these mundane, routine tasks, we make them immediately redundant to the world.

6. Stop Labelling Every Disruptive Child as ADHD/ADD

As an educator myself and now an entrepreneur, I recognise the exhausting and relentless burden that our school-based teachers bare. They are weighed down with administration and parental expectations all whilst trying to navigate an education system that is increasingly deficient. Any child that does not learn in the usual manners and requires more attention or additional stimulation by non-traditional teaching methods.

If, as a country, we are dedicated to changing the current economic outlook not just for ourselves but for those that will inherit this legacy then the systems that shape our thinking must be changed too. Entrepreneurial thinking and action is discouraged and punished in our current education system and only once children leave behind the 12 years spent at school can they begin to unlearn this way of mental conditioning and become active citizens.

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Chivas Venture Calling On South African Start-ups To Win A Share Of $1 million

South African applications for the Chivas Venture 2019 Now Open!

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Today Chivas Regal announced the launch of the Chivas Venture 2019 – a global competition that gives away $1 million in no-strings funding every year to the hottest social start-ups from around the world.

The Chivas Venture provides a global platform for innovative enterprises that are using business to solve an array of social and environmental issues – and today marks the opening of the South African applications. 

Since the competition’s launch in 2014, Chivas Venture-supported enterprises have enriched the lives of more than 1 million people in over 40 countries, across six continents.

Just as Chivas blends together whiskies to create award-winning Scotch, the Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs who blend profit and purpose. Chivas’ belief in blending ambition with generosity, and in using success to enrich the lives of others, was instilled in the 19th century by founding brothers James and John Chivas. Today that philosophy is kept alive not only through award-winning Scotch, but also through initiatives including the Chivas Venture.

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas, said:

“At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life, business and Scotch – and the 100 finalists we have supported to date have proved this, finding the right blend of profit and purpose in their ventures. Since taking part, finalists have reported saving 8 million trees from deforestation, providing 24 million litres of safe drinking water to those in need, and funding 75,000 days of education for women and girls – and that’s just a few examples. The Chivas Venture is continuing to have a global impact and we are proud to be investing another $1 million for 2019.”   

Related: Venture Capital 101: The Ultimate Guide To The Term Sheet

Applicants in each participating country will compete in local heats, with the South African winner flying to the United Kingdom to take part in an exclusive Accelerator Programme. Hosted by The Conduit – a new London establishment that serves as a home for a diverse community of people who are passionate about social change – the intensive training programme will give the global finalists the chance to hone their business and pitching skills.  

Following the Accelerator Programme, the allocation of the first $100,000 of the fund will be put into the hands of the public with three weeks of online voting. The Chivas Venture 2019 will then culminate in a series of high-stake pitches at the Global Final in Europe, where the finalists will battle it out for the remainder of the $1 million fund.

Radley Connor, Marketing Manager for Chivas Regal SA says, “The Chivas Venture is an amazing platform for South African social entrepreneurs to attract investment and gain global exposure. The competition rewards and celebrates individuals whose purpose is to make a positive difference to society. If you have a great idea, that meets the requirements, we encourage you to enter.”

In 2017, innovative South African water company I-Drop water placed third in the global finals, walking away with close to R1 million in funding. Since winning, founder James Steere has received interest from investors globally.

Clement Mokoenene is the 2018 South African winner and the creator of the Vehicle Harvest Energy System (VEHS). His business is able to generate electricity at a much lower, affordable cost than coal-fired power stations which South Africa currently relies on. The system works by installing an overlay on the existing road to extract the pressure and transferring it to the side of the road, similar to a wind turbine. Mokoenene says a 1km highway stretch could generate enough energy to supply the entire South Africa.

To apply for the Chivas Venture 2019 and find out more about why blending profit and purpose is better, visit the Chivas Venture website.

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