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Locals discuss overcoming the obstacles of entrepreneurship

MELROSE – Locals discussed the struggles and joys of entrepreneurship during the monthly Conversations over Coffee and Art meeting.

Locals engaged in robust discussion about the future of entrepreneurship during the monthly Conversations over Coffee and Art discussion with host Ntsikelelo Mzibomvu at Startbucks at Melrose Arch.

Mzibomvu hosted photography, videography and content production agency The Pixel Kollective, which aims to bridge the gap between clients and freelancers with a vision to shape the future of South Africa through creatives.

Founder and managing director of Pixel Kollective Kelly Leeuw said they hope to create employment opportunities since many new roles are being created in the industry. Her co-director and head of photography Sivuyile Matsiliza said that there is a lot of undiscovered talent in the creative industry. “We are looking for people to set trends and give our clients extra by doing real-time editing,” said Matsiliza.

Host Ntsikelelo Mzibomvu introduces the event to guests. Photo: Sarah Koning

Audience members in the packed-out section of Starbucks debated whether entrepreneurship is natured or nurtured, with Mzibomvu concluding that entrepreneurship is an ecosystem where people need to help each other in order to succeed.

Founder of Diversity Empowerment Athabile Jojo shared his experiences of starting a business from scratch and the various obstacles he faced on the journey.

Guest speaker and founder of Diversity Empowerment Athabile Jojo unpacks his struggles as an entrepreneur. Photo: Sarah Koning

Diversity Empowerment is a business which seeks to create opportunities for people who are currently excluded in the economy including persons with disabilities, unemployed graduates and people who could not complete matric.

Jojo said, “I seek to leverage the undiscovered gifting of people, particularly youth, giving them accredited and non-accredited training to accompany their practical experience on the job. I sign the deals and bring in the excluded people to execute the deals.”

Founder and managing director of Pixel Kollective Kelly Leeuw and director and head of photography Sivuyile Matsiliza discuss their journey to starting their business. Photo: Sarah Koning

Khomotso Mapholo and Meyrick Eilerd enjoy some coffee together. Photo: Sarah Koning

Tsholofelo Mofolo, Lebo Motaeng and Sithembiso Mlotshwa socialise before the formal discussion. Photo: Sarah Koning

He explained that the lonely road of entrepreneurship has not been easy.

“I’ve had 95 per cent failures and five per cent successes. A business plan can look good, but in the field, there are things that you cannot control. Each time I have failed, I have found a way of wrapping it up and dealing with the consequences. It’s your attitude that matters. I was never defeated. I knew I would overcome. I let my inner strength carry me through,” concluded Jojo.

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