KickStart Catch Up: Mncedisi Mabuza
We are excited to present one of our KickStart finalists from 2016, Mncedisi Mabuza. This young Swazi entrepreneur received business development training through the programme and we caught up with him to hear how his involvement in KickStart contributed to the growth of his mushroom business.
Tell us about your business.
I own a mushroom business located in Kabhudla. I supply retailers, restaurants and individual clients for now.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I fell in love with mushrooms while I was in high school at Manzini Nazarene High. We participated in the Junior Achievement programme and our chosen product was mushrooms. After this experience, I took the idea seriously because I realised that there is no local company that supplies mushrooms on a large scale in Swaziland. I decided I would be the first one.
How did you find out about KickStart and which year did you participate in the programme?
My uncle won the KickStart competition in 2014, so he told me about it. He saw potential in me and I decided to participate in the 2016 KickStart competition.
How has being a finalist in the KickStart programme been beneficial to you and your business?
I learnt how to develop a good marketing strategy to aid the growth of my business. On a more personal level, the KickStart programme taught me to never give up on my dreams.
What challenges did you face when starting your business and how did you overcome these issues?
Raising capital was the greatest struggle for me. I had nothing in my pockets so I needed to make a plan. I asked my high school friend, Simphiwe Mathobela, to invest in my business. The reason I approached him is because every time we were together we would talk about business; we wanted to be financially secure as young people. He had E4000 to invest in the business and I had a small structure at home and that is how the business started.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other young people who want to start their own businesses?
Be yourself and search for your dream. After finding your dream, START. Start small but dream big, and be confident and passionate about your dreams. Finally, don’t give up. You are the only one who has the power to bring yourself success.