Tabisa Nomnganga was recently awarded the 2012 Emerging
Entrepreneur of the Year title in the annual Sanlam/Business Partners
Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
This determined businesswoman lets nothing stand in the way
of achieving her dreams. She spoke to Fin24 about herself and her company Bravo
Who are you and where
are you from?
I was born on June 14 1979 in Langa, a township in Cape
I’m the elder of two daughters. After matriculating in 1998
from the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt, I went on to obtain a BCom
degree in industrial psychology.
I obtained a BCom honours degree in business management from
the University of South Africa in 2006. In 2001 I was involved in a tragic
accident which left me paralysed and thus wheelchair-bound.
I worked for Standard Bank and left in 2003 to join the CCMA
as their case management officer. I left full-time employment in 2009 to start
my own business.
In May 2012 at the Seda Stars Business Plan Awards I received
two awards: the first for the most promising female entrepreneur, and the
second as runner-up in the entrepreneur with a disability category.
Recently at the Sanlam/ Business Partners Entrepreneur of
the Year 2012 Awards, I walked away with the Emerging Business Entrepreneur award.
How old is your
business and what does it do?
My business is called Bravo Promotions and it’s been running
for almost three years now. It was founded in November 2009.
Bravo Promotions is a below-the-line agency specialising in
brand activations, communication campaigns and promotions.
We execute our campaigns and activations mainly in the townships,
targeting LSM 1 to 6 and using theatre, dance and performance.
We provide means for brands to interact, connect and reach
thousands of consumers where traditional media cannot do so.
I wanted to create a platform for brands and companies to
connect with their consumers in a creative manner and interact with them in a
language they understand.
How many people does
the company employ?
I currently have three full-time employees and over 50 part-time
promoters, dancers and performers.
How do you find the SA
The unemployment rate in South Africa is very high,
especially among young people, and some of the unemployed are starting
businesses to change their situation.
It is hoped that
these businesses will grow profitably and create much-needed jobs.
Some of the key problems facing entrepreneurs in South
- Lack of funding: entrepreneurs face many uphill battles to
secure funding, and get bogged down in all the red tape. They don’t know where else
to look for funding when banks turn them down.
- Lack of entrepreneurial skills: most entrepreneurs have no
idea how to run a business. They don’t know how to register a company, or the
implications of the type of business registered. Pricing and marketing is also
a major challenge.
- Lack of support and recognition: very few corporates and
government institutions support entrepreneurship.
With small business expected to create the much-needed jobs,
incubators play a major role in helping them grow and become sustainable.
Incubators provide the necessary business infrastructure and
strategic guidance, as well as an environment where information can be freely
In South Africa we need more organisations like Sanlam,
Business Partners and Seda who will accelerate entrepreneurship programmes.
Small businesses are said to fail in their first years of
existence. The main reason for this failure is lack of support.
Is business going
well? What are you happy with and what would you like to improve/change?
The business is growing at a very good pace. On our books we
have a good variety of clients ranging from small to big corporate, and we saw
our annual turnover increasing by 68% from the previous financial year.
I’m quite happy with how things are at the moment. I’m
slowly reaping the rewards of all the hard work I put in.
What are your goals
for the company?
I want to get my name out there and make sure I sign up more
clients. My ultimate goal is to have a national footprint and execute campaigns
What advice would you
give aspiring entrepreneurs?
Follow your passion, work hard and persevere; nothing comes
on a silver platter. A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
Sometimes goals can seem so daunting, but you should never lose faith. After all,
it is your responsibility to make your dreams come true.
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