When Mpande bought his first motorbike a few years ago, it was purely meant as a cost-effective means to travel to work.
But it wasn’t long before the ambitious man, who hails from KwaNdebele in Mpumalanga and has plans to retire in his 30s, identified a potential business opportunity.
“While riding, I saw that there were businesses using motorbikes to make deliveries. I also noticed that these bikes weren’t in such a good condition,” he says.
It was from this observation that Bumka Scooter Rentals –- a scooter and motorbike hiring business that provides a rental services to food businesses that make deliveries within a 12km radius in and around the Tembisa area – was born.
Mpande approached local franchise owners and four years later the frugal call centre supervisor owns a fleet of four motorbikes – all of which were bought cash – and provides rental services to the local Debonairs and sandwich shops in the area.
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He says that the key to starting a small business without incurring a large amount of debt is being prepared to make major sacrifices and cutbacks in certain aspects of your life as far as possible.
“I have had to make many sacrifices to make it this far. I rent a very small room in my effort to save as much money as I can to plough back into my business. I paid cash for all my motorbikes by maintaining a very simple lifestyle,” Mpande says.
He was recently crowned the winner of the Pioneering Spirit competition and gifted with a R100 000 cash injection and a one-on-one sponsored mentorship programme with venture capitalist Vusi Thembekwayo.
He plans to use his prize money to increase his motorbike fleet in order to expand his service offering to include rental packages that also offer a rider, which he believes will set his business apart.
“We’re planning to deliver small packages countrywide. For example, your perfumes that you’ve ordered online. Our service will be prompt and affordable, because we won’t be using cars that get stuck in traffic and require a high level of maintenance,” he says.
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His ultimate goal is to eventually own a fleet of 200 motorbikes and scooters.
Mpande’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is not to be afraid of taking risks – as long as they are calculated.
“With the right attitude and sacrifice, any goal can be achieved. However, the majority of entrepreneurs in SA are influenced by things that don’t contribute to realising their end goal of becoming a real entrepreneurs,” he says.