Square pegs

Local tech firm on the forefront of Africa opening up

Cathtect has turned out to be an entrepreneur's dream: cutting-edge technology, a whole continent opening up, the chance to make a real difference to the development of Africa, and limitless opportunities. Aaron Raath Cathtect Engineering News bulletins and headlines constantly mention the potential benefits for South Africa of the expansion of the African economy, the roll-out of major infrastructure projects in South Africa itself, and even t...
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Start-up gambles pay off, but not just because of luck

Although his studies included a short crash-course in running an optometry practice, it was not nearly enough for survival in the “big, bad world”, says Nkosi. Much of his business capability came from the experience he picked up working as an optometrist for various practices. Muzi Nkosi Perfect Eyes Optometrist When he tells the story of how he started up his optometry business from scratch, Muzi Nkosi uses the phrase “beginner's luck” ...
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Batting for local manufacturing

Because of the need for teams and clubs to brand themselves in their own unique colours and logos, the sportswear industry lends itself perfectly to CTC Sports' business approach of incremental growth based on high quality and intense customer service. Reg Amos CTC Sports You wouldn't guess that the small CTC Sports factory in industrial Maitland, Cape Town, is one of the few places in the world – and only one of two in South Africa – where c...
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Local entrepreneur builds world’s best retirement home

Starting an entirely new concept such as Livewell from scratch required a particularly determined pioneer. Fortunately, Jimmy has deep entrepreneurial roots. Jimmy Hanekom Livewell Suites Jimmy Hanekom talks about the home for dementia sufferers that he started two years ago with a slightly raised voice. Not because he is passionate about it. He clearly is, but the reason he is speaking loudly is that he has to compete with a raucous drumming ses...
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Whatever the season, stay open for business

...he found that lessons in dealing with the extreme seasonality of the South Coast trade, with its hectic Christmas peak as Gauteng holiday makers flock to the sea, also helps in the up-and-down cycles of the property market. Leon du Toit property developer In his colourful business career, Leon du Toit has experienced seasonality in business more intensely than most entrepreneurs. As a retailer he has ridden the extreme peaks and troughs of t...
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Madness? No, just ambition, grit and entrepreneurship

With her characteristic mix of impulsiveness and tenacity, Penelope launched herself into turning Precioux into a clothing brand aimed at kids and tweens aged between 2 and 16, and has since been climbing a gargantuan learning curve over the past few years. Penelope Rodenhurst Precioux It takes a level of bravery to start any business, but for most entrepreneurs the idea of starting out in the dying local clothing manufacturing industry borders o...
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No need to retire when business becomes a hobby

Business Partners ... [offered] to partner with them in buying the centre... When Frikkie heard that the basis for the partnership was 50-50, he jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity for the De Klerks to eliminate one of the major risks of renting a site-dependent service workshop... Frikkie de Klerk Supa Quick After building up and selling a chain of cell-phone stores in Cape Town, Frikkie de Klerk spent seven months at home in retiremen...
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Retail tenant takes ‘ownership’ of his environment

Brett says they were pleasantly surprised to find in Business Partners a landlord whose “whole focus was building a common goal and teamwork” between landlord and tenant. Brett Venton Spar franchise owner Brett Venton’s approach to retail is so customer-focused that he thinks not only about the inside of his shops, but tries to shape the environment around them as well. The idea, says the 37-year-old retailer from Kloof in Durban, is to c...
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Mentor becomes young entrepreneur’s ‘business mom’

By the age of seven, Mmabatho had already decided that she was going to lead a life of entrepreneurship. Mmabatho Mokiti Mathemaniacs Mmabatho Mokiti would have survived in business – probably even thrived - without the advice and guidance of a mentor, but the 27-year-old entrepreneur from Johannesburg is adamant that signing up with a professional business advisor was one of the best things she did since starting her business three years ago. ...
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A hidden jewel among the tourist shops

As young as they are, is it clear that nothing was given to the couple on a platter – something Annemarie says she is very grateful for. It was through hard work under the guidance of her parents that they got to know every aspect of the business. Annemarie and Rhys van Wyk Jade Jade, a unique jewellery business in Stellenbosch, does not stand out much among the clutter of curio and coffee shops in the heart of the Stellenbosch tourist dist...
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