Enterprise Development: A key to black sustenance

I started out my business and passion for working with small businesses in 2010. My company at the time was involved largely in project management consulting. My company managed training and construction projects for clients. As I grew in this field, I then began to add business consultation to my services wherein I would offer after training support to businesses that were sponsored by corporate. The services included business plan development, marketing plan development, corporate branding etc. until I pursued projects I was managing myself.

I then secured a construction project with a business partner of mine which was when everything fell apart. Yet, at the same time, it was at this very trying moment in my business life that I found my purpose. I realised that the statistic that at least 8 out 10 businesses fail in their first five years of operation was based on surveys done in township and rural South Africa for the most part. That most businesses that were in suburbia and city centres were well supported and had the right ‘stuff’ to succeed.

I then dedicated two years of my life to researching the enterprise development space and understanding how it plays a role in shaping up economies where businesses are set to fail even before they started.

The programme

My programme speaks directly to the lack of sustainable economies in township and rural South Africa (predominantly black areas). Due to the amount of time it took me to do the research and to build the concept, the programme has not effectively started. Yet is now at an almost advanced stage. Commencement is a matter of signatures away.

The premise is simple really. Every business has an ecosystem. The most unfortunate reality for black small businesses in township and rural areas is that people are always doing business only where the lower hanging fruit are vast. This creates saturation of products and services and shrinks market share, which secures inevitable failure. So the ecosystem; take a very common low hanging (yet incredibly profitable) fruit, the KOTA; this is a very common business in black communities both in rural and semi urban areas. It is a meal that soothes the heart like nothing else can. Usually the business that makes KOTA is the often the only business in that area that benefits from this ecosystem. The ecosystem for the making of KOTA consists of the following: potatoes (crop farming), fish oil (crop farming and processing), meat products (livestock farming), cheese (agro-processing and milk) etc. let us decide these are what are involved as raw material to make a KOTA. The reality is that all these are still businesses run by white capital and very seldom are black people in these areas found playing in such arenas.

This programme seeks to create a disruption in ‘business as usual’. The programme’s end goal is to see townships, semi-urban, and rural areas across the country building businesses that play in the ecosystem of every product and service they consume in order to create sustainable economies that are thriving, employing and building communities all at the same time.

I personally believe that the single greatest root cause of many a mankind’s ills is or can be directly linked to a lack of financial resource. When communities have the ability to produce, when they own means of production in order to gain financially as their white counterparts do, when they are in a position to create their own economy and, a rand can safely circulate within a given community (rural or semi-urban) at least more than 6 times, then only will we realise what a truly free nation looks like. And then we will celebrate the greatest achievements of human endowment in these residential demographics.

Enterprise Development is the salvation of small businesses. Socialism is the real wave pushing towards a truly free nation. 

Facebook: Nhlanhla Ndlovu

Twitter: @Ndlovu_N1

Cellphone: 076 689 6231

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