While the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur and forging your own path can be very exciting, it can also be extremely daunting. We’ve found over the last 12 years that mentorship is key, as without support from a mentor, the road to success can be that much rockier.
Mentoring has been described as a process for the transmission of knowledge and social capital, as well as the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the mentee).
A chance at success
We have realised at The Hope Factory that our combination of mentorship, training, and life and business skills development is crucial in providing fledgling entrepreneurs with their best chance of success, and our track record in the Eastern Cape, which has seen over 70% of our entrepreneurs successfully passing the crucial four-year mark, is testament to this.
As with every successful entrepreneurial venture, the time comes when the opportunity for expansion presents itself, and we believe that the time is right for The Hope Factory to launch in Johannesburg.
A new Joburg branch
Our aim in Johannesburg is to assist entrepreneurs with established businesses to improve their growth through strategic business development, and to improve their sustainability by developing capacity and business fundamentals. These businesses must be >50% black South African-owned, have a turnover of between R250 000 and R5 million, and have been registered and operating for at least one year in Johannesburg.
The range of services that will be available to our Johannesburg entrepreneurs include mentoring and business development; capital investment opportunities; workshops; networking opportunities; access to markets; specialist training and industry exposure.
The mentoring aspect of our programme will consist of one-on-one sessions with skilled mentors – both business and financial – who will guide our entrepreneurs through the strategic growth phases of their businesses.
I believe that our new venture will impact positively on our unemployment figures over the coming years. In the words of one of our entrepreneurs, Nomakhula Qengwa, “I now have the confidence that my business will become even more successful in the future.”