01 Jun

01 June 2016

Thuli Radebe, SAB Kickstart

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I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and knew that one day I’ll run my own business. Eyam was registered when I was 20 years old. The motivation to become an entrepreneur came after my career as a professional dancer ended. I’d had the privilege of travelling the world and experiencing different opulent events. During this time, I learnt to manage my finances as we weren’t paid regularly and what I earned had to last.

I joined a corporate but lasted only seven months because I was uncomfortable doing something I didn’t really like. I’m glad I decided to run my own business because I like being in control and my business allows me to be in control of my life, my time and write other people’s pay cheques.

I decided to apply for the SAB Kickstart Programme so that I could be registered on the SAB supplier database. Every entrepreneur wants SAB as a client. The first time I applied, I wasn’t successful and I was short listed in the top 60 after my second application. There’s a noticeable difference between the time I joined the programme to how I’m running my business today.

I’ve always known what my dreams were but this programme boosted me to the next level. The interest-free business loan allowed me to buy assets, furniture for activations and panels for exhibitions. Having all these in-house allowed me to give clients better rates because previously I would outsource everything. In future, I would like to put strategies in place where I will not have to outsource anything but become a one-stop shop.

Due to the type of clients I now have, my suppliers are now exposed to new things and are more confident in themselves. My employees get to travel and it opens their minds up to new things as they get to meet different people and dream.

The coaching from the Awethu Fund team has also helped me. Now I can manage policies and put processes in place even when I’m the only one managing all departments. SAB is leading the enterprise development space by creating such opportunities for entrepreneurs like myself and alleviating the unemployment rate in South Africa.

My dream has always been to run a sustainable business and in five years’ time, I would like to have accumulated enough assets and created other income streams. Over the past few years I’ve also accumulated many assets and my business has allowed me to provide a good life for my family. The ultimate dream is to run an empire for generations to come.