Cape Town - A small business in Khayelitsha which uses bicycles to deliver chronic medication to people, has earned its owner a spot on the Forbes Magazine’s 30 under-30 Africa’s best young entrepreneurs list.
Sizwe Nzima, 21, who graduated from the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development last year, runs Iyeza Express.
Nzima employs four men to criss-cross Khayelitsha by bicycle, collecting and delivering chronic medication from public hospitals and clinics and delivering it to the clients’ doorstep on prescribed dates.
Clients pay a minimum R10 fee per collection.
Nzima started off with two clients - his grandparents - but now has more than 250. He hopes to expand locally and even nationally.
“The response from the community has been great,” Nzima said. “My clients appreciate the privilege of their medication and other things being delivered while they’re busy with their own responsibilities. Some old people really feel that they are taken care of, considering their critical health problems.”
Forbes called it an “innovative enterprise”.
Nzima came up with the idea after hearing about the overcrowding at public health facilities, and noting that many of the people affected are able-bodied and sometimes have to waste time that could have been spent at work.
He sees entrepreneurship as a way to combat social issues.
“Our plan is to run Iyeza Express as a business that will benefit the community,” said Nzima.
This was one of the teachings at the academy, where much of the emphasis was on creative thinking and problem-based innovation, said academy director Elli Yiannakaris.
“They’re looking at issues within the community,” Yiannakaris said.
A survey last year of former students of the academy found that about 40 new businesses had been started as a result of the six-month programme. About 80 percent of the academy’s contactable graduates have gone on to find work, continue their studies, or start a small business.
The academy focuses on teaching fundamental business strategies coupled with workshops which instil confidence, professionalism, and interpersonal skills.
The course are open to individuals between the ages of 18 and 30. Applications for this year closed today, information about later courses can be found at www.ackermanacademy.co.za.
The local programme takes 30 students.
“Young people are the most powerful group of people in the country because they have all the power to change the world into what they want it to be,” Nzima said.