Entrepreneur …


So much can be said about the entrepreneurial spirit, the need to create and advance your dreams. We stand in awe of those who continuously break the mould and reach for higher heights, with only their wit and fervour to excel as their propelling agent, thrusting them forward.

I personally am always enthralled by the stories behind these kinds of people, how for instance did they move from idea – to implementation – to success? As the saying goes it all seems impossible until it is done. From Richard Branson to George Matsheke, we hear stories that bolster our hope in the human races never ending resilience to change, finding ways to reinvent and make better the world.

We don’t need to look very far either, the country is brimming with entrepreneurial talent, and the key as we have come to understand; is not giving up. With an ever growing unemployment rate it is up to us, the general public to invent ways to create jobs and eliminate the scourge, that inevitably leads to the further rising levels of poverty.

There are so many of us out there that have a coal fire of entrepreneurship burning within us and not sure which way to turn or where to start. You pick up and read all the Branson ‘ How to books’ peruse the pages of Destiny’s publications looking for some kind of key, a mechanism that will enlighten you and to your success.

And let’s be honest when approaching someone and asking them ‘How did you do it’, hearing the words ” hard work, passion and dedication”, simply don’t cut it. What they do not tell you, is that the road to success is different for everyone, no one blueprint works. What you create truly is bore out of your own passion and desire to succeed, and the path you plot will never look like someone else’s.

Marvin caught up with two entrepreneurs who are building a brand and a service that speaks to the current economic landscape, using a blueprint that is uniquely theirs, and which seeks to provide a good service whilst creating employment for South African youth.

Leaders in their own right, Sandiswa Nqampoyi and Sandile Swana saw a deficit in the market and made moves to not only capitalise on it, but in the process create jobs for youth. Their company Sable Assets which is a South African Software development company founded in 2011, specialises in bespoke software development. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have heard of bespoke fashion, bespoke teeth, bespoke houses but I’ve never heard of bespoke software development.

Bespoke software development, is just another way of saying custom-made software development which in and of itself is made to suit the needs of a company or organisation, helping them to reach their ultimate potential through streamlining of processes. For example many financial institutions use bespoke software to speed up many processes – think home loans and budgets?

Speaking to one of its founders, Sandiswa Nqampoyi, who is also the General Manager of the business, he indicated that in 2011 they saw a gap in the market but as time went on they came to realise that there was potential within the business we realised that the possibilities are infinite and this business could grow into something amazing that can transform lives and the continent (our primary market).

In the beginning Sandiswa says his dream was to be a lawyer, “but my dear grandmother never held them in high esteem. I think she took every opportunity to sway me from that and she won.” Instead he studied architectural technology and went on to work in that field for a number of years but found that there was a glass ceiling to what he could do; and thereafter moved to consulting and that’s where he crossed paths with Sandile, and so the SABLE Assets journey began.

Delving into the concept and journey that is entrepreneurship, and understanding the any challenges and, subsequent rewards it can provide. In going on this journey one must have perseverance it comes in handy on those days when you are can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel; consistency in what you are doing because it will pay off in the end, belief in yourself and the process, methodical planning because you don’t have a map with all the directions, more hard work than you’ve ever done in your life because this will be your bread and butter; and most of all a little bit of a cowboy mentality because that will help you jump into the unchartered territory and push you forward when that little voice says it’s too hard.

The challenges are plenty, everything from cash flow problems, theft, to HR issues – recruitment, changing people’s outlook, building organisational culture, choosing the right people to be part of this journey is imperative – the list is long and some of them fall in the category of ‘it comes with the territory’. “The most important thing to do when you encounter challenges, is to deal with them as they happen, and remind yourself that it’s part of the process. Some situations will be harder than most, but the aim is not to give up or give in. Give yourself space to make errors, and to learn from them, says Sandiswa.

“I want to leave a lasting legacy in my community, community for me is not the hood I leave in or I grew up in but a broader outlook, change lives for the better. In the few months that the business has reinvented itself it has created more than 30 direct jobs. Hopefully changing the lives of some young black people, Sandiswa says.