Imagine being presented with an opportunity of a lifetime; to be part of a business incubation programme yet having to come up with a fresh and out of the box idea that has not yet dominated your community.
If you don’t you lose your spot on the incubation programme.
This was the reality confronting agro-processing entrepreneur S’busisiwe Sithebe when she became part of the De Beers Voorspoed Mining Enterprise Development incubation programme in 2017.
Her love for food and her background in the food industry had been enough to get into the programme
but her innovation would keep her.
The programme administrators presented a feasibility study on the Fezile Dabi region and told the
incumbents that the construction, catering and cleaning services sectors were over saturated in the
Ensuring her spot is secured
S’busisiwe only had one option, to think broader. She had always been passionate about food since her
high school years when she selected to do home economics as a subject.
She was the family chef, cooking at every family gathering and event. Cooking was all she wanted to do,
but it was simply not enough for this programme.
“I considered a restaurant or even being a private chef but the circumstances did not allow at the time,”
“Somehow when I got home, I started talking to my mom about my homework to come with an
innovative idea for this industry. I was hungry and there was nothing prepared in the house. My mom
suggested that I check the cupboard.
“I saw the bottle of preserved beetroot I had prepared the previous December in 2016 and that was a
light bulb moment for me,” says the Kroonstad lass.
At the time she could not think of black person from her community who was involved in food
preservation in the formal market, and the rest as they say is history.
Today she is becoming a prominent figure in the agro-processing sector and has big plans for her food
label, Buska Foods. She produces beetroot, tomato puree, carrot and sweetcorn salad and as well as
crushed chillies and has just launched a business selling food in her hometown of Kroonstad.
S’busisiwe has also received recognition for her innovative idea. In 2019 she was first runner up for
Standard Bank Top Women Free State, in August of the same year she won Agro Processor of the
district, Department of Agriculture Awards Female Entrepreneur Awards.
After that she was able to graduate as an entrepreneur.
“I studied with the Entrepreneurship and Business Institute Programme in partnership with the
University of the Free State and I was presented with two awards and my product was chosen as the
Best Customer Focus of the Year in 2019 and New Business of the Year 2019 under the leadership of Dr
Thabo Pitse of ActionCoach who is also her business coach”.
I've had to learn to take baby steps. I’ve had to learn to understand that there are things
that you may desire and want to achieve but sometimes you have to wait until the time is right and trust
the process. Most importantly don't forget to pray and have faith in Father God.