Share this article

​Witpoortjie workshop gives entrepreneurs tools to make it big

 Not having enough start-up capital should not be a barrier to anyone wishing to venture into business.

This is the message that was driven home to scores of entrepreneurs who attended a business workshop organised in partnership with the City of Johannesburg at the Witpoortjie Library in Region C on Wednesday October 12.

The workshop was facilitated by former financial journalist Themba Mafafo. Before the start of the three-hour session, each participant was given the opportunity not only to introduce themselves but also to share the type of businesses they were involved in, making the workshop interactive.

The workshop covered topics such as the development of a business idea, types of businesses, how to register a company, basic marketing skills and cashflow management. Participants came from sectors such as landscaping, baking, construction, school transport, public coaching and events management. A distinctive feature of the workshop was that the facilitator would pick an entrepreneur and zoom in on their business. This benefited both the chosen entrepreneur and the rest of the audience.

Mafafo advised participants to start small and not rush into growing the business. “Do not, as a start-up business, want to suddenly go big. Start small and grow from that,” said Mafafo.

“If your initial start-up capital is, say, R100 000, try starting that business with R1 000. In fact, try starting on a zero budget. You’ll be amazed at what you could achieve with such small or no capital outlays. Engaging others who have walked that path also helps a lot.”

After the workshop, Mafafo said he also wanted to demonstrate to the entrepreneurs the importance of partnerships.

“We had three people in landscaping. Can you imagine what they could achieve if they were to begin to work together? This is why this is different to other workshops. It has to be outcome-based,” Mafafo said.

One of the areas that were touched on during the workshop was the importance of conducting research before venturing out. Mafafo said many businesses failed because not enough homework was done before starting them. The key to starting a successful enterprise, he said, was a vision.

“It does not help to copy others and not stick to your own ideas,” he said.
A follow-up workshop, to be held next month, will give feedback on what people had achieved since the initial workshop.