SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme participants share their stories

 Applications for the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme are currently open. We sat down with two past participants to find out about their experiences of applying to the programme and how the programme has helped them become better entrepreneurs

RC Infinity: Yagen Naicker, class of 2017

RC Infinity: Yagen Naicker, class of 2017

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It comes with many challenges but, when times get tough, the dreams that motivated me to start my business encouraged me to keep going. I remember, when I started, I had little knowledge of how to run a business which is one of the reasons I applied for the Tholoana Enterprise Programme.

I found the application form to be quite lengthy but easy to understand and there was a friendly group of people I could call, whenever I had a query with any of the questions.

I was excited to be chosen for Personal Transformation and Strategic Planning workshop In Johannesburg and learnt so much from the mentors and business experts who talked to us about entrepreneurship, finance, passion and commitment.

After the workshop, the SAB Foundation together with Fetola came to visit my business and I had the opportunity to show-off my drones.

When I was confirmed as being a participant on the programme, I got the opportunity to learn about finance, marketing, people management and costing and pricing through workshops facilitated by business management professionals. I was also paired with a mentor who helped me structure my business correctly, overcome obstacles and challenges and helped me with my confidence.

Everyone at the SAB Foundation and Fetola are ready to help with a word of motivation, listen to my challenges and provide helpful solutions.

My advice to small businesses who are thinking of applying is to, just do it. You won't regret it and the benefits are exceptional.

Kono Authentic: Given Monaise , class of 2017

Kono Authentic: Given Monaise , class of 2017

I am the founder and owner of Kono Authentic, a vintage leather brand which sells products such as leather belts, bags and wallets, all proudly made in South Africa. 

Growing up, I was always an entrepreneur at heart. I started my business selling clothes from Turkey to my local community in Alexander. However, I had a bigger vision and also wanted to get involved in the design and manufacturing process. In 2013 I opened my own clothing brand, Kono Authentic.

 I read about the Tholoana Enterprise Programme online and was immediately attracted to the prospect of learning to manage and grow my business. 

 I was so happy when I was accepted onto to the programme. I attended all the workshops and I knew exactly how I would incorporate all my learnings, from the basics of financial management, to sales and marketing to improve my business. However, the best part was connecting with other small business owners and finding out we all had similar challenges.

 I was granted R220 000 in funding from the SAB Foundation to further develop my business. With this, I was able to buy more equipment which helped me improve my product quality, increase production and grow my work force. This resulted in me increasing my business income by 30%.

 I truly believe that all small business owners who meet the SAB Foundation criteria must apply, It will make an Incredible difference to your business.

 For more information about the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme and to apply, please visit: https://sabfoundation.co.za