Business & Economy

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:56

MOTIVATING BUSINESSES TO KEEP AT IT

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 Johannesburg – Project Specialist for Tushiyah Advisory Services, 35-year-old Bathabile Moreki from Pretoria, is a force to be reckoned with. The bubbly and diminutive Moreki epitomises the adage that “dynamite comes in small packages.

”Since joining the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) entity in April, this year, Moreki has been hands on in coordinating workshops with the SMEs and programmes being run at Tushiyah – dealing closely with the logistics of getting the businesses to attend sessions. Her focus is very much aligned with that of Tushiyah’s, and that is to grow South Africa’s economy through small businesses.

As an entrepreneur at heart, running her own franchise stores for National Brands since 2013, she clearly identifies the need to see small businesses thrive in their various sectors.  She said, “In this role I have been a mentor to many small enterprises, and gained significant skills in securing and managing franchises, which is why I think Tushiyah is ideally positioned to further my practical skills and knowledge.”

Her passion has always been on Township Economy and Franchise, which saw her being chosen to represent the NDP by Former Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the presidency, Minister Jeff Radebe. It was then that she pioneered the Township Economic Transformation programme about 7 years ago. The programme, she believes, has so much potential to contribute to the high youth unemployment rate by creating sustainable township businesses.

“It was very frustrating growing up and seeing how small businesses just never grew in the townships.  They never extended beyond the supermarkets and some just folded,” she said.

That’s why, when Moreki saw a kindred spirit in small business development space, she joined Tushiyah. The struggle to give entrepreneurs a kick start on their journeys has not been an easy one as she has often discovered.  While the programmes have been practical and resourceful, it was the actual act of getting them to attend sessions that became somewhat of a challenge.

Moreki said, “Understanding the challenges facing start-ups can drain one emotionally. In one programme we had 75 entrepreneurs selected but only 40 percent attended due to transport issues – they simply didn’t have the funds to travel, and one must acknowledge their frustrations.  Whilst we are committed to build strong business managers, it has to fit the clients’ available budgets.

“On the upside, we have since taken this up with clients, balancing transport costs and cutting down on expenses like catering to accommodate more businesses. I’m glad to say travel allowances have, in some instances, been factored in,” she concludes.

Moreki describes herself as very much a people’s person engaging with all walks of people.  It stems from her entrepreneurial childhood as a Priest’s granddaughter, who was encouraged to sell anything from homegrown peanuts to duvets, to her eventing services in school.

Her people’s personality led to her now setting up WhatsApp groups with those she mentors and who are part of the training programmes.

She said. “Although many clients in the Enterprise and Supplier Development space know Tushiyah, as the first point of contact, they need to relate to you professionally as a business advisor, as a coordinator. I’m very accessible, I WhatsApp the businesses and send reminders to attend and they know they can WhatsApp me at any time or send an SMS if they cannot call.

I don’t want the barrier of communication to be an obstacle to them attending so I use my phone a lot to communicate and keep in touch with many of them,” she said.

The mom of two was born and raised in Qwa Qwa, Free state and has an older brother. She has a National Diploma in Tourism Management, a B-Tech in Business Administration and Project Management from University of Johannesburg, and a Management Development Programme (MDP) from Unisa Business School.

Moreki believes that “as entrepreneurs we contribute to change in our country. I realized early in life that regardless of the resources I have, I can still make a change and that’s essentially why my work at Tushiyah is so fulfilling. Together we are transforming and growing this economy.” 

About Tushiyah Advisory Services

Tushiyah is a 100% female and 60% black-owned advisory services company and one of the leading implementers of ESD (Enterprise and Supplier Development) in South Africa. Their role is to essentially act as a conduit between corporates and SMEs, creating an environment beneficial to satisfying the business connections both need to succeed. Tushiyah means “sound, efficient wisdom resulting in long-lasting success” which is the core value that Tushiyah delivers.  The team is comprised of highly qualified and experienced enterprise and supplier development specialists, local economic development specialists, programme managers, business advisors, industry specialists, and accredited trainers in South Africa. Each team member is carefully selected for their compatibility with the company’s core values and ethos and for their expertise. The company was established in Johannesburg in 2008 and operates nationally with offices in Harrismith and Durban, and associates at seven urban and rural centres nationally.

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