What is your name and age?
Nathacia Olivier, 26
Where in South Africa are you from?
I was born and raised in Ekurhuleni and I live in Benoni CBD
Tell us a bit more about your education and interests.
I matriculated in 2007 and studied Marketing Management in 2009-2010. Thereafter I become an intern at IDMASA (Interactive Direct Marketing Association of South Africa) for a year in 2011. In 2013 I completed an entrepreneurship programme by Dimension Data and in 2014 I completed another 6 months course with The Branson Centre.
Questions about your business
Describe your business. What do you do? Who do you cater for? What products/services do you supply?
Criar Investments is an integrated marketing entity that fills in the gap for start-ups and SMME’s established and based in the East Rand. The company was registered in mid July 2012.
We offer printing, brand activation/corporate branding, signage & design, graphic designing, and promotional services to our targeted market as well as cost-effective creative concepts that will popularise SME’s to their suited targeted market. The Coffee kiosk offers and caters large to small orders of eatable treats such as platters/muffins, hot/cold beverages to different organisations for functions/occasional/events.
We aim to grow, develop and enhance entrepreneurs through the four (4) departments that exist:
- Integrated Technology Solutions – This department assists with Customer Interactive Solutions, Microsoft Solutions, Accessories, Application Solutions, Data Centre Solutions and Converged Communications.
- Coffee Kiosk – The coffee kiosk is appealing with its modern African look and touch. Clients are able to relax in the warm environment created where they can eat, work and socialise, while others book the space/venue for private meetings under economic circumstances. We also serve platters for various occasions.
- The Traders Group – Is an initiative specifically designed to assist young people in business who are start-ups or those who already own small businesses which have been running for less than five (5) years seeking to grow their businesses without spending a cent yet see themselves successful and has two categories in which one can chose from.
- Marketing & Concept Innovation – We offer branding, designing, promotional services, managing of social media accounts, creative consulting and more to our customers in order to raise awareness by coming up with cost-effective concepts and tools to popularise them to the suited targeted market.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I started the business because I saw a gap within my community and noticed how small businesses lacked financial assistance, marketing, corporate identity and support. The purpose of the company’s existence is to help SMMEs and other enterprises in order to create the change that needs to happen in their own existence as well as in shaping our country’s economy. We are moving away from traditional marketing and moving into contemporary modern marketing which is integrated with technology. Mostly we assist with positioning and coming-up with cost-effective cutting-edge concepts for SMMEs to expose them to the right target market, raise brand awareness and increase profit margins.
Tell us what experience you gained from a previous job or studies just before you started your business?
I was an intern at the IDMASA (Interactive Direct Marketing Association of South Africa in 2010 and thereafter at Aegis Global Call Centre as a Quality Assurer in 2012. I actually gained a lot of skills; especially customer experience, presentation skills, the important of sales and marketing and as well as how tackle challenges within the business field.
What is your SME’s current business situation?
At the moment the current business situation that I am facing revolves around financial challenges and market penetration.
What are your goals for your business for 2015?
Some of the goals that I have for my business are:
– To move to another city (JHB – Central) as a branch
- Form partnerships with established companies and work on campaigns that effectively assist small businesses
- Assist more small businesses and increase sales
- Employee at least 3 more young people into the business
- Have a real working relationship with corporate companies and government institutions
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?
Five years from now I would like to:
- Establish a community life-style hub for socialization and entertainment with great coffee and bakery items.
- Create an environment that won’t intimidate the novice entrepreneurs. Criar will position itself as an educational resource for individuals wishing to learn about the knowledge and benefits that the Internet has to offer.
- Establish national annual tours through our initiative known as The Traders Group.
What has owning your own business taught you? The hardest decision you ever had to make in your SME journey thus far?
Owning my own business has taught me to become an independent risk taker, it taught me how to deal with clients and the importance of implementation and quality delivery. The hardest decision that I ever had to make thus far is to compromise what matters to me most including my values.
What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?
The only advice I have to other entrepreneurs is to never give-up no matter what circumstance you may be facing. Work hard with integrity and always look after your clients form a strong relationship with them and always be honest.
Does Biz4Afrika matter to you, and why?
Biz4Afrika does matter to me because it is has proven how technology can be an instrument of assistance to small/growing businesses. It is a space that allows like-minded entrepreneurs in one space, share, empower and support each other.
How did you first hear of the Biz4Afrika initiative?
I heard about Biz4Africa online a while ago when I was browsing the internet, after few months I was invited to an introduction session in Midrand with other young entrepreneurs.
Who inspires you?
The one person who inspired me long before I could even start my journey was my grandmother. Since her passing the one person who inspires me is Richard Branson.?