Four years ago, two broke entrepreneurs decided that their dreams, passion and confidence in their ability to begin a corporate services company were enough to make a successful go of it.
Luther Mochabe and Zwanga Mabaya (both 24) said that in 2013 they literally only had enough money to register Ventso Group.
However, given their perseverance, today they can list big names such as Nedbank, Ster-Kinekor, Transnet and Lancôme as some of their clients.
Ventso specialises in putting the corporate identity of its clients on items such as clothes and corporate gifts, as well as organising corporate events and supplying sound and media equipment as well as portable toilets for open-air events.
Mochabe, managing director, said his advice to entrepreneurs who dream of starting their own companies is to execute their ideas, to be consistent and to do it with confidence.
“And be prepared to offer up your time.”
Ventso Group is an enterprise that is fully black-owned and managed, operating out of Woodmead in Johannesburg.
Mochabe manages the department that deals with corporate image building and Mabaya plans and handles corporate events.
The eight other employees each have a specific department that they are responsible for.
Mochabe, from Phalaborwa, said he and Mabaya, from Venda, met each other through a mutual friend.
In 2012, Mochabe began with a diploma in business management and entrepreneurship at Varsity College, but said he gave up his studies to focus on the company.
Mabaya initially began with a BCom (Law) qualification at the Midrand Graduate Institute but later decided that he wanted to attend the “school of life” as an entrepreneur.
The two entrepreneurs say their biggest challenge was convincing the market that Ventso really could deliver an excellent service.
“It started as something small. As far as I can remember, we supplied 20 shirts for the Tshwane metro by basically sowing an emblem onto them,” said Mabaya.
Shortly thereafter the two received a tender worth R30 000.
“I’m very happy with the progress we’re making but there is still a lot to be done. Passion always remains the key to overcoming difficulties. A company can’t reach its true potential without passion and faith.”
He said that, as a small company, their promotions budget is limited and they have been relying on social media marketing as well as on clients recommending them to other potential clients.
Good time management is incredibly important, said Mochabe.
“If you manage your time well, 24 hours is enough to get things done. The company does demand a lot of late nights, but it’s worth it.”
As a result of the fact that they did not have much capital when they began, the growth process has been slow.
“But the lessons that you learn are priceless. Like being patient, believing in yourself and persevering.
“The only mistake we made was that we didn’t start with this earlier.”