Social & Community: Ditshiamiso Business Enterprise
Winner of the social and community category in the 2017 Township Entrepreneurship Awards, Lucky Siwela’s Ditshiamiso Business Enterprise has used his qualifications and training to bring business, computer and life skills to his community.
“I entered these awards to showcase our services and products and to prove to the judges that we have what it takes to be contestants providing skills development training to transfer skills to other would-be young trainers or training providers,” says Siwela.
“We believe that we also proved to the judges that we can make a difference in the community by creating opportunities for young people to obtain employment in different sectors like retail, call centres and to become SMMEs and run their own businesses.”
Siwela is an accredited facilitator and assessor with the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) and the Wholesale and Retail Seta and is now seeking to assess with the Service Seta. “I have more than 10 years in the industry and have shown passion, professionalism and dedication in the work that I have executed,” he stresses.
“I chose to start my own business because I really wanted to be independent, to demonstrate my talent and skills, to serve the community, to make more money in order to be sustainable as a young person and to be a good role-model for aspiring entrepreneurs in the township.
“It is not just a choice to be an entrepreneur – you need to have the right qualities and skills such as passion and commitment. Entrepreneurs should also know that risks are attached in the process, such as not immediately seeing the benefits – both financial and non-financial.
“You should be prepared to compromise your time for research and travelling for business, not pleasure. Sometimes we spend two months with no income and it becomes difficult to provide for the family so you need support from family and friends.
“I also realised that independent trainers like ourselves can be mobile by going to clients and pitching. We can always submit business plans and proposals on new programmes that have impacts and aligning [businesses] to Seta requirements and unit standards or qualifications.
“We can conduct on-site training, unlike other colleges and other institutions.”
Siwela says the prize money will go back into the business and used to buy new equipment to enable Ditshamiso Business Enterprise to work faster and maintain a competitive advantage. He intends to purchase two laptops, a projector for Powerpoint presentations and training, a video camera to capture training and events, a sizeable printer and external hard drives for material back-ups.
“We have conducted training outside Gauteng and we are looking at pitching new training programmes. The money will also boost our ability to travel and conduct training to municipalities we previously served in Bloemfontein, Upington, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
“We are growing to implement training workshops that will create skills for people to be self-employed and for others to be employable.”
“We also want to implement training workshops in provinces that are remote like the Northern Cape and Free State.
“To those who have invested in us, I want them to know that their investment is worthwhile. We want them to be proud about their investment and remain committed to us because one day they may buy shares in the company. We want them part of our future plans.”
In his spare time, Siwela says he enjoys researching and reading newspapers to be up-to-date with South Africa’s economic, social and political trends. “I also like jogging and I run marathons. This keeps me fit and helps me to stress less from my demanding work.”