When Radebe launched her events company in Roodepoort, Gauteng, in 2008, her lack of business experience and track record proved to be a hindrance.
“I always dreamed of running my own business and showing people in my community that with hard work, you can realise your dreams,” she says. “Getting the business off the ground, however, wasn’t easy, because clients were hesitant to give me a chance.”
She tackled this challenge by persevering until she secured a few clients and then grew the company through word-of-mouth by always exceeding her client’s expectations and delivering innovative solutions driven by quality, affordability and creativity.
Establishing a profitable company
In 2016, Radebe registered to take part in the SAB KickStart Programme, which provides training, grant funds, business development support and mentorship to young innovators.
“I was inspired by other South African entrepreneurs who are working hard, pushing boundaries and creating a legacy. The KickStart programme offered me the opportunity to expand and elevate my business to the next level, so I threw myself into it wholeheartedly,” says Radebe.
She won the third place prize and was awarded R300 000 to invest in her business. She used the money to purchase property in Soweto, where she has established a second branch and factory from which stock is stored and distributed – a function she previously outsourced. She also increased her service offering to include promotional gifts, corporate clothing, activations and equipment hire.
“The business has grown significantly since my participation in the KickStart programme. We have secured solid annual contracts with big companies, such as SAA and Old Mutual. We have tripled our bottom line and we now employ nine staff members,” she says.
She is currently pursuing a BCom in Business Management from the University of South Africa, while working on obtaining more long-term clients and she has plans to branch out into personal events such as weddings.
What advice does she have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “The road does get tough and bumpy, but that’s not reason enough to give in. If you persevere and work hard, it will get better and pay off in the end. Always stay positive and forge ahead!”