At our final Inspiration Session for 2016, we heard from two inspiring entrepreneurs. Luvuyo Rani, a visionary and award winning social entrepreneur, is the co-founder and managing director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, an internet café turned one-stop-shop IT franchise company with 40 branches. Tebogo Ditshego is a reading advocate and the President and CEO of public relations agency, Ditshego Media. In 2014 the globally celebrated Forbes Magazine included Tebogo in their list of top 30 African entrepreneurs under 30.
Luvuyo and Tebogo encouraged us with the below:
- You have power: believe it, own it and make a difference.
- Resilience: Luvuyo and Tebogo demonstrated an incredible amount of resilience on their respective journey’s. Believers in not needing capital to start out, both of them financed their businesses out of their own pockets and, at times, went months without an income. People will laugh at you and not understand you, but it’s important that during the challenging times, you believe in yourself especially when others don’t. Entrepreneurs often see opportunities where others see only challenges.
- Don’t despise small beginnings and baby steps: Tebogo shared the story of Chung Ju-yung. Chung was a South Korean entrepreneur and businessman, who came from peasant origins, to found the Hyundai Group which was, at a stage, Korea’s largest business empire. This story resonated with Luvuyo, who started selling PCs out of the boot of a car to teachers in townships. Both agreed that drive, determination, passion and vision is more important than one’s background.
- Focus: both speakers emphasised the importance of focus. It is important to set goals and keep your eye on the ball until you master what it is that you do, thereafter you can diversify.
- Time: time, once passed, cannot be brought back. Rather than spending time, we should be investing it.
- Humility: focus on your business, not your ego. For both entrepreneurs and business leaders, humility is a key ingredient.
- Change: the one thing in business that is consistent is change. As entrepreneurs, it’s important to be open and willing to change course if necessary. Being willing to adapt to change is a competitive edge for any business person.
- Don’t become a prisoner of your conscience: be true to yourself and your values.
Luvuyo and Tebogo ended the evening by highlighting the importance of seeking out a good mentor to guide you, especially in the entrepreneurial space, because having experience means that he/she is able to assist you in thinking through your ideas.
We would once again like to thank our sponsor, Allan Gray, for hosting us so brilliantly. Our next Inspiration Session will take place on the 9th of February and we look forward to seeing you there.