In a ground-breaking 2015 TED Talk, Thembekwayo dropped some bombs about what it means to start, maintain and grow a business. His message is simple: Africans need to think bigger, and small businesses don’t have to stay small.
Thembekwayo gives examples of innovative ideas that black people have had for years but have failed to develop into something bigger. Kotas, which are a staple for many black South Africans in the townships have now been taken and upscaled by the Kota Joe’s franchise, now a multi-million-rand company, while many vendors in the hood still sell from small rooms.
A limited mindset keeps many slogging away for years, battling to make ends meet. The Chairman of Watermark Afrika Fund says Africans need to realise that it is possible to move from the start-up phase to the growth phase in a short time.
With innovative thinking, capital and other forms of support from more established businesses these companies can flourish.
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Thembekwayo adds that the most successful businesses are those that want to make a difference. Most successful companies have a philosophy that makes a change, the secret is to ask why you are starting your business .
Companies with a purpose include Google, whose mantra is Do No Evil, while Apple says Think Different.
Watch Vusi talk about what it takes to go from small to great.