Two innovative entrepreneurs show that youth can be a stepping stone to success
By Tsepiso Theko
Robert Matema is proof that former president Thabo Mbeki was onto something when he championed education as a means of learning something new.
After bagging his honours degree in Industrial Engineering and halfway through his Masters, Matema got a job with LTS health, a company dealing with laboratory performance improvement, where he worked as an interior designer.
In 2018 he moved to the UK and worked for LTS on different projects. After much consideration and what may also have been boredom, his company Good People lifestyle was born.
Good People lifestyle is an innovative concept that seeks to redefine small businesses. After doing his research and exploring ways of entrepreneurship, Matema came up with the brilliant idea of offering retail space to small businesses.
The idea is to offer retail space and exposure to high market for small businesses that operate in townships garages and streets. It is specifically for young entrepreneurs offering fresh, innovative and interesting products. Entrepreneurs can rent hangers and tables for a certain period of time in different markets. It is basically taking your business to the right people.
Another inspiring burgeoning entrepreneur is Xolani Sifundza, who is, amongst many other titles, the president of the SRC at the University of Johannesburg. Growing up Sifundza loved politics avidly and possessed leadership traits that are evident to date. Albeit his interests changed from politics to business, Sifundza remains an entrepreneurial thought leader. He developed an interest in business because of entrepreneur DJ Sbu, whom he later met and became a mentee of.
The 21-year-old is currently doing his final year in Business Management, majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Kujenga Mali group financial services is a financial technology start-up company that is seeking to create financial security for informal traders. Growing up under the care of an informal trader, Sifundza saw the social demand and the business opportunity in the situation. The idea is both generous and forward-thinking. According to Xolani, this will be done through e-payments, pension funds and education funds for children.
The financial innovator is passionate about the development of Africa and believes that young people can bring change through entrepreneurship.