WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DREAM AND AMBITION?
To have enough time and resources to farm full-time, and head to business schools across the world learning new things and acquiring knowledge.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD AND HOW THAT HAS SHAPED YOU INTO THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE?
The foundations for my life were set at home, and my family remains both my roots and wings. We were never told we couldn’t be anything and our parents did a great many things to make sure we had the necessary exposure, support and resources to help us in the future.
HOW DO WE UPLIFT OUR TOWNSHIP ECONOMIES?
Small Businesses need to invest in systems, professionalise how they operate and focus on Service Excellence. Customers don’t care about location or cost if they get value and a superior experience. We also need to delimit the thinking that surrounds the word “township” and “SME” in this country – it keeps businesses small and held back by location. We are capable of more than that.
YOU HAVE MANAGED TO BUILD A STRONG CORPORATE PROFILE AND PERSONALITY AT A YOUNG AGE. HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY BEEN?
It has been a challenging journey that makes you as tough as necessary to survive in business. I have also set many challenges for myself too – to prove I can get to the next level to myself and to learn things I would not know by being complacent. The stereotyping and barriers women face have also faced me, but we each find a way to navigate around them and through them. I only attribute most of my successes to Hard Work.
YOU ARE FOUNDING MEMBER AND CEO OF INNATE INVESTMENT SOLUTIONS. WHAT SERVICES DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE AND HOW ARE YOU DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY?
Innate Investment Solutions is a property development, asset management and infrastructure solutions company. Innate creates solutions – from developing retail, commercial and transport nodes, to devising strategies on asset optimisation and deploying revenue generating infrastructure and solutions. I’m not in the construction business, which is a common misconception about my work. Rather, Innate Solutions builds business cases and provides strategic and operational solutions on how best properties and infrastructure can be used to maximise a land or property owner’s balance. These clients can range from a single entrepreneur to large companies in telecommunications, aviation and mining.
YOU HAVE TAKEN A KEEN INTEREST IN LEADERSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT. TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR INITIATIVES?
IgniteSA is a social engagement platform more than a subsidiary. It allows me to pursue my passion for the support and development of others and our country through meaningful interventions in Education, Skills and Enterprise Development.
MyStartUpSA is an important partner to what we want to achieve in entrepreneurial development. SME Funding is a show I host on Business Day TV that further extends ones ability to share, teach, expose and support entrepreneurs through the tricky world of finance.
WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE GREAT LEADERSHIP TO?
To a way of being in the world. Leadership has a lot less to do with leading the masses as much as it has to do with leading You.
IS MENTORSHIP A PREREQUISITE FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR WHEN STARTING BUSINESS?
Not necessarily – but skill, competence, a network and market are.
FUNDING AND MANAGING CASH FLOW ARE TWO MOST CRUCIAL ELEMENTS IN BUSINESS. HOW SHOULD ENTREPRENEURS NAVIGATE THESE?
First and most importantly take time to get to grips with your business model. Not your business plan – but the model that is the construct of how you will make money, where your input costs are and what the value of the product of the service are. Once you understand that you will know where your business bleeds, and breathes and what you need to be focused on to ensure its survival.
Everything else, follows from understanding the patterns, frames and flows of this business model.
WHAT FINAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT OR ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS?
Expect external challenges based on gender but remember you do are not here to solve them all. Work to solve the problems your business was formed for and focus on what you want to achieve. Don’t take everything personally and keep your standards, relevance and goals high on your agenda.
KASIBIZ MAHALA STAFF WRITER