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Maponya shares experiences with entrepreneurs

By Penwell Dlamini | Apr 23, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

KNOWLEDGE and courage were identified as the main characteristics needed by entrepreneurs to succeed in their ventures.

This was revealed at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Maponya Mall, Soweto yesterday. The summit was organised by Lerato Exhibitions and sponsored by Sowetan , Sunday World , Kaya FM and Old Mutual.

More than 300 entrepreneurs attended the summit.

During the summit legends of entrepreneurship such as Richard Maponya and David Moshapalo shared their experience on how they sustained their businesses during a time where black people were not allowed to be part of the mainstream economy.

Both men received lifetime achievement awards from Lerato Exhibitions.

"In our time if any black person was called a businessman, whites assumed he was a criminal," said Maponya.

"Today entrepreneurs have an opportunity because government and banks can even look at you.

"I commend the work they (government) are doing but there is more to be done," he said.

Maponya told entrepreneurs how he had to wait for five years to own a horse in a horse racing business in the early 1980s.

The horse was named Another Colour and its jockey wore ANC colours.

"I am a pitbull, once I grab something I never let it go," he said, while calling on all entrepreneurs to have courage.

Freddie Bruintjies, of the National Youth Development Agency, said: "Our people are not empowered with knowledge, that is why while there is money to fund business projects, our people are still struggling to start their businesses."

He called on entrepreneurs to make realistic goals.

"Let's dream big but be realistic as to where we can start," he said.

Gauteng Enterprise Propeller chief executive David Morope said that small and medium enterprises were needed the most because they contributed to the GDP, job creation and new technologies.

Old Mutual Financial Education head John Manyike sealed proceedings by presenting the free financial education offered by his company to small businesses and individuals.

The programme allows Old Mutual experts to give financial education to at least 35 people and it takes about six to eight hours, free of charge.


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