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South Africa

How BrownSense Founder Built One Of SA's Fastest Growing Networks For Black Entrepreneurs

"I'm not asking for someone to let me win, I'm just asking for someone to let me in and give me a fair chance for people to decide who goes and who stays," says Mzuzukile Soni who is the founder of one of South Africa's largest networking communities for black entrepreneurs - BrownSense. Some may be familiar with the name through their monthly buy-black markets held in Cape Town and Johannesburg, however this is only the tip of the iceberg.  What started out as a Facebook group a year ago is today a network of over 100,000 black entrepreneurs and business owners. 

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Talking business with Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman

BY 

“Our philosophy is that rich people love low prices, poor people need low prices and so the whole business philosophy was built around that. So, to get your prices low, you’ve got to have your cost low, you’ve got to be very efficient as a company.” Ackerman began working at his father’s shop as a young boy and his work ethic grew from there: “I spent every Friday night, because we used to have late-night shopping, working in the supermarket from the age of 10. You can’t do it today with all the child labour laws, but I packed tills, packed the shelves, swept the floor and eventually became a cashier. There virtually was no job in Pick n Pay that I haven’t done. I’ve run stores, I’ve been a buyer, I’ve run the company,” he explains.

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Nondumiso Pikashe, a South African entrepreneur creating a proud indigenous wine brand

Exciting things are happening in South Africa’s winelands with a new generation of entrepreneurs making great wines for the local and global market place and building new brands to watch. Ses’fikile Wines, founded by Nondumiso Pikashe, is one such brand with high aspirations.

What does your company do? 

At Ses’fikile Wines, I sell gorgeous wines.

What inspired you to start your company?

My entrepreneurial spirit couldn't rest. The wine industry represented ambiguity in my life which I explored through this venture. I am a teacher by training and I felt I had done my bit as far as the classroom context was concerned. I needed a new space to breathe. My country was in a new and refreshing space and this provided a new opportunity.

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Nonhlanhla Khumalo, a South African entrepreneur bringing financial management and accounting solutions to its clients

Businesses need access to specialist financial services advice and support, but often for start up companies, it can be a daunting process. Now help is at hand from experienced accountant and entrepreneur, Nonhlanhla Khumalo, founder of LeHay Consulting. 

What does your company do?

The company, Lehay Consulting, is a financial solutions company specializing in Accounting Services, Financial Management, Tax Services and Business Consulting Services. Formed in February 2005 as Nonhlanhla and Sons Financial Services, this business was a passive business until 2013. The Johannesburg-based company went through a process of redefining and repositioning itself in order to provide optimal benefits to its customers, and execution of the vision and mission it carries. This marked a new era of growth and the company name was changed to Le Hay Consulting in January 2014, a more inclusive and futuristic name, forecasting the unprecedented growth of the company and its future prospects.

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