Drive to create entrepreneurs

DREAMING BIG:  Dr Nondumiso  Mzizana
DREAMING BIG: Dr Nondumiso Mzizana

A FORMER dentist is on a quest to help create a nation of successful entrepreneurs.

Dr Nondumiso Mzizana says the education system in the country is focused on creating employees rather than employers.

"We are groomed from childhood to believe that the only way to success is getting a job on completing that degree," Mzizana says.

She says with her annual Success Summit, held in October, she gives entrepreneurs a platform to share ideas to ensure that their businesses succeed.

She says the summit is aimed at creating 50 new enterprises a year that are sustainable and which, with guidance, will take a shorter route.

"The Success Summit is aimed at moving entrepreneurs - whether they are start-ups, cooperatives or fully fledged businesses - to greater heights," she says.

"We show them the way to succeed in a particular industry by carefully selecting experts in that field.

"They offer entrepreneurs a chance to build long-lasting networks, adopt a mentor in the process and expose them to sources of finance," Mzizana says.

She says the summits cater for individuals who dream big and want to implement their ideas without fear of failing.

A dentist by profession, Mzizana has also been running Sikelela Medical, a medical and pharmaceutical supplies company.

"I became a businesswoman in my childhood, selling oranges around my rural neighbourhood - and in my early teenage years, selling sweets during class," she says.

"The micro-enterprise employed my schoolmates in the process."

Mzizana, who was chosen as businesswoman of the year for 2011 by the Businesswomen Association, says small businesses fail because they lack direction, knowledge and financial support.

She suggests that the rate of SMEs failure could be lowered if successful entrepreneurs dedicated a bit of time to mentoring others.

"We lack role models who do a great job in the boardroom," she says.

"We also lack the endurance, passion and confidence needed for entrepreneurship."

Mzizana points out that another weakness of entrepreneurs is that they are generally self-centred and do not have a spirit of sharing information with those who are less knowledgeable.