Start, run and grow your business

Luyanda Bushula took the bull by its horns by initiating a platform for Khayelitsha businesses to grow.

Starting your own business can be tough and risky, but with the proper market research, mentorship, positive referrals and effective networking, you could easily set yourself on the path to success.

That was the message passed to Khayelitsha entrepreneurs by Business Networking International (BNI) at the launch of the eKasi Business Drive Initiative (eBDI) on Thursday October 18 at the Lookout Hill.

The eKasi Business Drive Initiative is committed to helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses through a structured, positive and collaborative networking programme.

They will expose business owners to world class, global best practice referral marketing and business development practices that can be integrated into their businesses and teams.

The founder of the initiative Luyanda Bushula said the group was out to make a difference.

“eBDI is an initiative that seeks to grow the township economy.

“The majority of businesses start small, grow and, once they reach boiling point, they stay there for a very long time and eventually enter a downward spiral.

“The major causes of this are lack of mentoring and a failure to attract new clients.

“Our objective with this event is to focus on local entrepreneurs, get them to come together and network, refer business to and mentor one another,” he said

The eBDI, which started meeting in July, has formed a committee of local businesses that are volunteering their time and resources because they believe in these values.

Mr Bushula said growing up in Khayelitsha he had noticed how many businesses failed, and that he believed it was time for business owners to change the way they did things.

BNI’s Mike Taberner said the organisation was committed to the upliftment of local communities and urged the entrepreneurs to attend and join the BNI chapters to access help.

Mr Taberner said before doing anything else, entrepreneurs should make sure that there was a need for the product or service they were offering.

“Always market your business. There is an array of platforms to do that. You also need to network effectively.

“Move to a business point with good business connections. The good thing about the BNI it introduces you to the real business people,” he told them.

At the launch local business people also shared their challenges.

Silulami Siwela who has a waterless car wash, said it was difficult to reach their clients. But he said the biggest challenge was funding.

Another entrepreneur, Itumeleng Dikgoele, who is in the catering business, said things were going well but there was room for improvement.