Chapter 1

CAN ANYONE REALLY BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

What compels one from spotting an opportunity to taking the leap of faith and starting their own business? In Chapter 1, Nelisiwe Masango from Bear Run Investments and Mariam Jakoet Harris from Cooked Inc. share a bit about their respective industries, their motivation for starting and advice for others who are trying to cut it in the South African small business landscape.

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BEAR RUN INVESTMENTS: CHAPTER 1

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MEET NELISIWE

Nelisiwe Masango founded Bear Run Investments in late 2013. She spotted a gap in her community and seized the business opportunity to empower people to reach financial freedom through educational seminars and workshops.

Nelisiwe’s shown an entrepreneurial spirit since school but Bear Run is her most successful business venture to date. She’s the sole proprietor but has partnered with CM Trading and the Purple Group LTD where she rents a “hot desk” and office space to run her trading and investment training. She’s inspired by working in an environment with other people and uses it as a way to learn and better herself.

In her first diary, Nelisiwe shares a bit more about her business and offers advice for other entrepreneurs based on what she thinks are the key characteristics needed to make it to 1001 Days.

 

As an entrepreneur, you work with trial and error.

– Nelisiwe Masango, Bear Run Investments

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COOKED INC.: CHAPTER 1

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MEET MARIAM

Mariam Jakoet Harris has embarked on a journey to fulfil her passion for delicious food by starting her own business, Cooked Inc.. She plans, makes and delivers healthy, wholesome, home-cooked meals and platters to families and corporates.

She’s always loved cooking and when faced with cancer, healthy eating habits became a necessity. Mariam did a lot of research into the benefits of healthy foods and cemented her business idea while on maternity leave. After resigning from her job and kicking the cancer, she took on the challenge of building Cooked Inc. from the ground up with “bags and bags and bags of passion”.

She’s the sole proprietor of her business and has one assistant who helps her with deliveries. All her cooking is done from her kitchen at home and as Cooked Inc. continues to grow, she’d like to employ even more hands to help her out so she can keep up with her growing demand. Get to know more about Mariam and some of the advice she’s got to share about starting out as an entrepreneur.

Find your passion and then go in with it.

– Mariam Jakoet Harris, Cooked Inc.

WHAT MAKES AN ENTREPRENEUR?

47.6%

of respondents said that passion was the main motivating factor when starting a small business

60%

of the entrepreneurs from the 1001 Days start-up survey said they were in service-oriented businesses



Having a passion for the industry was a big motivator for those in service-oriented businesses while flexibility of time played a big role for e-commerce entrepreneurs.

For deeper insights into the South African small business landscape, take a look at the Santam start-up survey results.

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EXPERT BUSINESS ADVICE

5 traits of successful entrepreneurs

In this chapter, we’ve outlined some of the key personality traits that will help you kick-start your start-up, including the ability to cope with pressure, being adaptable, confident, ambitious and able to work well with people. Take a look.

TAKE THE INSTANT POLL

What do you think are the most important traits for an entrepreneur? Take the poll to reveal the results:

It’s all about coping with pressure

Knowing how to adapt and be resilient

Having a high level of self-confidence is key

Ambition drives entrepreneurial success



Passion, adaptability and the ability to cope with pressure were seen as the key skills needed by entrepreneurs in our 1001 Days survey, regardless of which industry they were in.

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THE JOURNEY TO 1001 DAYS

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Chapter 2

WORKING WITH PEOPLE

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1001 DAYS OF BUSINESS

Ensure your business makes it to 1001 days and beyond with commercial cover from Santam.

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THE SANTAM START-UP SURVEY

Take a look at the comprehensive survey we conducted on 606 small to medium enterprises in South Africa.

Survey results