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Empowering Entrepreneurs: Unlocking the Township Economy's Business Potential

Bathabile Moreki is indeed the epitome of black excellence and a strong advocate for township business development. As a successful businesswoman and author, she has achieved remarkable feats and continues to inspire others in the black community. The CEO and founder of Nothile Consulting was nominated as one of the 100 Women of Fortitude to advance struggle stalwart, Albertina Sisulu’s legacy. In September 2020, the advocate for township development published her book, in which she discusses why she prefers small firms to obtain funding from banks. By Bianca Mashao.

Business woman Bathabile Moreki

In 2020 she released a business self-help book titled “How I Started My Business with a Million Randt.” The book sheds light to those who want to be in business or entrepreneurs on how to establish and build firms, how to acquire capital and how to gain access to local and worldwide markets. About her consultancy firm Nothile Consulting is a consultancy firm that helps small businesses through mentorship to operate formally and with the option of franchising their businesses.

Bathabile started her first business in 2013 when she bought into a food chain franchise, after she was funded by the National Empowerment Fund. She has made it her mission to mentor township businesses looking to create franchises or expand their business. To help with this campaign, she established the Township Economic Transformation Initiative, which continues to empower countless people.

When you want to franchise you’ve got a system in place, employees, stock, everything is there. But when I started interacting with other entrepreneurs, I learnt that there are challenges with access to market and finance.”

She admits that empowering entrepreneurs to franchise has not been easy as many of the small businesses don't have funds to franchise their brands.

“In order to franchise you need to have enough stock on hand to support your own franchisees, people who will be running the businesses under your brand must have enough stock on hand. You should have good branding and that on its own is money.” Building businesses brick by brick Township development has always been her ultimate goal, and in the 10 years since its inception, the effort has witnessed tremendous progress.

“We have mentored over 3000 businesses physically as well as online and now we have started working with corporate businesses. We mentor and support the businesses that are sponsored by corporate clients. We have also expanded into other industries supporting and mentoring businesses in agriculture, farming, construction and mining,” she explains.

Amongst many she also works with telecommunication companies in the communication industry and has now opened offices in Mpumalanga and the Free State. They don't only service private clients, but also corporate clients.

It's been an amazing journey because we also see the impact that we have in small businesses. We find our clients now able to create jobs and have become profitable businesses who can stand on their own. we offer support in terms of compliance on financial management and compliance with government legal statutes like SAS and CIPC.”

Venturing into other businesses

Since the launch of Nothile Consulting Bathabile has expanded her base, venturing into other spaces. Besides introducing three more franchises, another Debonairs, Fisherways and Spur, she also launched her own perfume brand, the Perfume Co. She took the franchise model approach and signed up for six-month lease with a few shopping centers around the country, securing space in 22 stores. “I've also launched the Perfume Co Africa, which is the franchise brand for the perfume, and we are looking forward to opening our first store in Centurion. I've also launched the Gin Co Africa, where I've also partnered with Ignited Women, where they've been promoting the brand.” she says.

What does the future hold for Bathabile?

In the next two years, I would like to see my business growing in Mpumalanga region. I've seen great demand for the services that we are offering in different parts of the province. I would like to work with a lot of communities and empower them into starting and growing businesses. Another goal I have is to partner with other mining companies and agricultural corporate businesses in order to have more impact in that region. Nothile Consulting intends to expand across all nine provinces of South Africa within the next five years. They aim to offer specialized consulting services, build relationships with local organizations, and create a positive impact on businesses and communities.

Overcoming challenges

During COVID-19 lockdown, our company faced challenges, including a restaurant closure and demoralized staff. To overcome that, we diversified offerings and launched a book, which was completed and published during the pandemic, providing a source of entertainment during the pandemic. “People were losing jobs, getting retrenched due to COVID. So at least they had a book to also read and give them ideas how they can start their own businesses with little capital.”

Fun facts Great sense of humour, lover of life, traveller of note.



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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