The Ballito Magazine recently ran an article on three of the iLembe Chambers Entrepreneur winners. If you didn’t get to see that article, here it is.
Where have you come from and where are you today?
Toni: I previously ran a diving centre in Johannesburg, until my husband and I made the spontaneous decision to move to Ballito. Both of us didn’t have jobs and found it a very hard task to find any because there were no jobs that were in our original fields. We eventually took over the ‘Sarmie Shop’ from Chantel who had been running it for two years and a year and a half later we’re still up and running.
Cindy: I originally lived in St Lucia and was a radiographer by profession but had to stop when I started to have kids. We moved to Ballito when my kids were about to start high school and during that time I unfortunately went through a divorce which left me with absolutely nothing, so I had to find something so I could support my kids. So out of pure necessity I thought what can I do that people hate doing and I came up Maternity UIF claims which went so well I decided to branch out into Domestic UIF claims.
Lungi: My mother was a domestic worker and the family she worked for always baked, I was always very interested so I would stand and watch them with my head just peeping over the counter. One day they asked me if I would like to make my own, I was so excited and ever since then I have always had a passion and love for baking. When I was older I started baking for my family for special events because we couldn’t afford to buy them, and as I used to bake my sisters would give some to her friends and they really liked them so they told me I should sell them and that’s how it started.
What made you enter?
Toni: There were just so many things that i wanted to incorporate and add to my business but lack of finances limit you and stop you from growing. And here’s a competition that can help me realise my dreams what’s there to lose? I wasn’t aware we would receive such valuable training which makes you win irrespective and you realise what dreams are realistic and which ones you need to toss.
Cindy: To be honest I saw the box at Spar I saw R320 000 and I thought hell that would be nice I am an entrepreneur; I have started a new business that would really help! But as Toni said the training was invaluable!
Lungi: For me it was the hope that if I could just get some of that money it would really help me grow my business I could get a bigger oven and bake more cupcakes at a time because currently I can only bake 6 so I have to wake up at 2 to make all my cupcakes and still get to work on time. And the training would teach me how to make my business a success. Compared to the other entrepreneurs I honestly didn’t think i would win anything until they told me I was good enough.
So what’s the plan for the future?
Toni: The great thing is that you are not given all your winnings at once, they control your money and you invoice them on things you buy for your business that essentially makes it better. It separates your personal life and your business life. I am planning on setting up a little kitchen in town where I can make the sandwiches that day on order. I have found a place so all I need now is a few bits and bobs and equipment for the kitchen and we’ll be sorted and ready to open early next year.
Cindy: I will be holding two Baby expo’s and I will give out both the domestic forms and Maternity forms thereby killing two birds with one stone as mom’s always need nannies, I also will be putting an advert per month in one of the big baby magazines for 12 months and then Pamphlets. Because I won more money than I had initially asked for I will be spending the rest on a professional website with PayPal that allows people to pay online which will help my business become more user friendly thus attracting more people.
Lungi: Well I will be providing my baking services for parties etc which will run though Buddy Bear which will give me great word of mouth exposure. Through the competition I was given a proper stove above the money I won so I can now make enough cup cakes to run a proper business, I was also given a voucher from Spar for R500 a month for 6 months to buy baking ingredients, which will help cut out costs exponentially which will also help get my cupcake business off the ground.
These are just some of Ballito’s inspiring entrepreneurs who have found their dream and made it a reality. In its second year now The Entrepreneur Competition hosted by the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce is growing exponentially with more and more candidates realising there path to success is a simple sign up away!