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Entrepreneur realises CEO dream at the young age of 26

Apr 13 2017 14:41
Liziwe Ndalana

Buchule Sibaca, CEO of SMTAX.

Cape Town – Buchule Sibaca, 26, is the CEO of a digital accounting and tax firm, SMTAX, which helps business owners with online business registrations, tax submissions and all accounting related forms.

Sibaca started his career in a big accounting firm like many other people, but soon felt like a "small fish in a much bigger pond" as he didn’t have the freedom to share and implement his ideas. He left the firm to join a start-up company where he learned about running a business.

After a year, he resigned from his job to start his own business. The start-up owner was his first client and he has since retained him as a client and a mentor.

"Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be a CEO of a company, but I never knew that it would happen this early in my life," he told Fin24.

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Where did it all start?

Sibaca visualised having his own company while he was working towards his Bachelor of Commerce degree (hons) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

"During my UCT days, I would help friends and family over the tax season. It was one day when I was helping my mom file her tax returns online that an idea sparked to create an online space for people who didn't have time to go to SARS.

"The idea was more of a tax and accounting firm, which later developed into an accounting and advisory services firm," he said.

Sibaca said his entrepreneurial journey has been greatly influenced by his father and older brother who owned a construction business while he was still studying. "This drove my hunger and passion to start my own company immensely," he said.

His father used to sell meat to supplement the earnings from his job as a teacher. "My father would buy meat from the local butcher, chop it up at home and sell it to customers. I used to go with him every time he went to sell the meat, which in turn allowed me to see how an entrepreneur operates," Sibaca recalls.

Technology, collaborations

SMTAX is a great success that has grown and continues to grow at an exponential rate, all organically without any external funding. The company leverages technology to run efficiently and deliver excellent customer value, better and faster than its competitors.

He said the greatest advantage about working in the technology space is that their clients are innovative by nature, and this means that when they expand, they do so digitally. "Some of our clients are spreading into the African continent and they've asked us to move with them, and all this is done digitally," he said.

This start-up is changing the face of accounting and tax.

Sibaca is also a firm believer of collaborations because "when synergies rub off on each other, entrepreneurs get stronger rather than being apart". He feels that South Africa needs more entrepreneurs working together as it creates a win-win situation.

"My latest collaboration with Silulo, a pioneering information communication technology company in emerging and rural communities, has been a brilliant one and more is still to come," he said.

Giving back

His parents are both educators and he is motivated by helping and solving people's problems every day.

"Empowering previously disadvantaged individuals and business owners, and just putting a smile on a client’s face makes the sweat all worth it," he said.

Sibaca is passionate about empowering black businesses, with a focus on young business leaders. His vision is to see an economically inclusive South Africa, driven by entrepreneurship and with young business leaders at the driver's seat.

He has been involved in a number of initiatives aimed at bringing his vision to life, including assisting budding entrepreneurs register new companies and acquire funding.

As a fully black-owned firm that has employed a number of black graduates, Sibaca hopes to inspire young black professionals to collaborate and make a real positive change in the South African economy and the communities at large.

"More can be done to make South Africa an economically inclusive nation and that is what makes it an exciting challenge," he said.

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tax  |  entrepreneurs  |  profile  |  small business
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