Helping pave the way for local entrepreneurs
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JOHANNESBURG - Rapelang Motsumi, who describes himself as an “entrepreneur activist”, says he’s all about helping entrepreneurs find help.
He is founder of The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Company (Teec), which he established in 2009 as a matchmaking services company, pairing the needs of business people with support institutions.
Initially, when the company started trading it was offering mainly small business compliance services and other SME consulting services.
“In the course of offering those services we picked up that some companies needed further assistance, but they did not know where to go for that kind of assistance,” says Motsumi, who has received entrepreneurial training from incubators including Shanduka Black Umbrellas, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, and Awethu Project.
He explains that the company has since evolved to become an information based firm that shares existing opportunities in different sectors with entrepreneurs. “In our business model entrepreneurs are the beneficiaries of the empowerment and they are plugged into support institutions at the cost of the participation of corporates contributing a BBBEE spend for enterprise and supplier development.”
Motsumi, who holds a bachelor of business administration degree, says they are in the process of establishing a website, to be integrated with a database portal that would receive entrepreneurs’ business profiles through a submission form.
“The third stage of our growth will be the introduction of the Teec App, it will be launched next year. It will allow us to have a wider reach and simply our operations.”
Motsumi is confident that his is a scalable business and reveals that his clients, among others, include Standard Bank, SA Breweries, and non profit organisation TechnoServe.
He rallied behind government saying it implemented a lot of initiatives aimed at assisting entrepreneurs, but they were not communicated properly.
“In most cases you find that people don’t know about them in order to take advantage. It’s a matter of having good plans but not communicating them properly.”
Motsumi says he is an “entrepreneur activist”, and has conducted trainings at the National Youth Development Agency for small businesses, and facilitated entrepreneurship programmes for Junior Achievement South Africa.
He says his business is about enhancing the work of the ecosystem and making sure that he creates an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive.
Teec’s corporate social responsibility include staging business and health gatherings in township areas, where business leaders hold discussions and people can conduct health screening tests for free.
Motsumi, who revealed his age but denied consent to publish it, boasts that he has never worked for anybody in his life.
“I always knew that I want to pursue entrepreneurship,” he says, “because it is deeply attached to my life purpose.”
The other hats Motsumi wears include being the chief consulting officer at DB Entrepreneurship Consultants, project manager at BM Productions, and director at EBonoko Foundation.
Motsumi has also conducted a series of entrepreneurship education sessions on the DStv Africa Magic channel.
He believes that entrepreneurship is one of the solutions that could be used to dent the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, currently at a dizzying 26.7 percent.