Yvonne Mamokiba Makuwa

TKY Trading

Yvonne Mamokiba Makuwa is the founder of engineering company, TKY Trading and a participant in the SAB Foundation’s 2017 Tholoana.
TKY Trading is an engineering business based in Limpopo; specialising in the supply and repair of mining and engineering components such as armature winding, pumps, motors, ventilation fans and valves to various companies around Limpopo and Johannesburg.

Yvonne Mamokiba Makuwa is the founder of engineering company, TKY Trading and participant in the SAB Foundation’s 2017 Tholoana Enterprise Programme Yvonne is an ambitious entrepreneur who is always seeking ways of improving herself and growing her business. She shares with us the journey of how she started her business and what she had to overcome to make it the company it is today.

Yvonne Mamokiba Makuwa is the founder of engineering company, TKY Trading and participant in the SAB Foundation’s 2017 Tholoana Enterprise Programme Yvonne is an ambitious entrepreneur who is always seeking ways of improving herself and growing her business. She shares with us the journey of how she started her business and what she had to overcome to make it the company it is today.

TKY Trading is an engineering business based in Limpopo; specialising in the supply and repair of mining and engineering components such as armature winding, pumps, motors, ventilation fans and valves to various companies around Limpopo and Johannesburg.

When TKY Trading was established five years ago, Yvonne understood that she was entering a very male dominated industry. However, she knew that there was a high demand for mining components around her area and established this business with a female touch. Yvonne explains that getting funding to start TKY Trading was not easy as she faced a lot of rejection from companies. When she finally received small jobs from clients, she ensured she capitalized on them and made the most of the opportunity.

Being just one of only three black women in her local mining industry, Yvonne still needs to overcome a number of perceptions that people have. “Playing the black woman card does not work in the mining and engineering field, our services are production related so you need to deliver, we had to man up”. she further explains that she is still fighting for her spot in the industry because many companies perceive small, local black owned companies as incapable of producing good work.

Although Yvonne, has faced many challenges in her career, she is not someone that gives up easily and with every challenge she faces, she sees an opportunity to better herself. After just five years in business, Yvonne has a number of things she can be proud of, two years ago, she received her full SABS ISO9001 Accreditation; she has employed ten permanent staff; forged a strong strategic alliance with key suppliers and has established good standing with more than five clients.

Her five tips for startup entrepreneurs are:

• Save for the future, business is seasonal. • Staff members are important, train them and keep them motivated.• Always have integrity.• Always communicate with various stakeholders including staff.• Balance your life; your business needs a healthy you.

With the funding, she received from the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme she has bought a truck for TKY Trading and she plans to start a school workshop for people around her community. She will train people and improve their skills, enabling them to work in the mining industry. These workshops will target specifically people in Limpopo.

Yvonne’s advice to anyone who wants to start their own business is that, “The key to starting your own business is never to give up. You need to stay focused on your goal. What works for someone else might not work for you and if what you do does not work explore something else. Be you, do you!”