I took part in the JASA Mini Enterprise Programme in 2004 when I was in grade 10. I was the general manager of our company which was called Teen T’s. Our business sold personalised printed t-shirts. Out of all the MEP teams running at the time, our team had the most innovative product, at least I thought so. Despite the unique idea at the time and the huge demand for our product, our group just managed to break even at the end of the MEP.
In 2004 I decided to start my own business, Texta Print. The business lead to me being chosen as one ABSA Top Five Entrepreneurs in 2005.
Just like other entrepreneurs, I experienced the hurdle of a lack of capital when I started the business. To overcome this I convinced my customers to pay me either all or half of the money up front. I rounded up my friends to be my employees. I also paid my employees on a commission basis. This, for me, was the beginning of my business journey. Texta Print and two other businesses that I ran through out university helped to put me through university.
As much as I love telling my story, I think that JASA’s role in my growth is the more important story. Today I am a B.Com Honours graduate who will be eligible to qualify as a Chartered Accountant of South Africa (CA(SA)) at the end of 2013. I am in the process of growing my small property investment portfolio. I am also a member of the Black Management Forum (BMF).
My entrepreneurial spirit was unleashed by Junior Achievement. As I believe that JASA is an important organisation, I decided to keep the people that I met at JASA close to me. Through JASA I have met industry leaders who have contributed to where I am today.
JASA’s purpose to any youth in South Africa is very important in that it opens up a whole new world of opportunity, thinking and teachings. My introduction to JASA has made me passionate about business and business’s role developing the African continent.
As I share JASA’s vision of contributing to meaningful economic participation, I call on all JASA stakeholders to join me in making this vision a reality.