“Follow your intuition” sounds like a hackneyed slogan, but it’s been a guiding light for Mncwabe (27) from the moment she decided to become an entrepreneur.
In late 2015, she found herself unemployed after being retrenched from her corporate job. It was then that she listened to her gut feeling.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to own a hair salon,” she says. “I thought I finally had to make that happen. I’d already lost my job, so what more was there to lose?”
She decided to tap into a niche market by starting a children’s salon called Kiddies Korner. The idea was motivated by bad hair salon experiences she’d herself endured as a child.
“Growing up, I hated going to the salon. And because I love kids so much, I wanted to ease them of the pain and misery they go through there,” she explains.
Accordingly, she underwent an incubation programme called Awethu Project, where she was put under the tutelage of Edwell Gumbo, a business coach she affectionately calls “Bhuti Eddie”.
He helped her get the ball rolling, with Mncwabe using money from her provident fund, savings and contributions from her mother as her start-up capital.