3 Lessons For Budding Entrepreneurs + IAAE entrepreneurs share successes

3 Lessons For Budding Entrepreneurs + IAAE entrepreneurs share successes

I am a journalist and a budding entrepreneur. I learnt the term “budding entrepreneur” on Saturday 19 November at the “I Am An Entrepreneur” (IAAE) event held in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Before I share some small successes, I want to tell you what some of the attendees taught me. Firstly, I learned that a “budding entrepreneur” is someone who is on his way to be an entrepreneur. This person might be in a job – employed by someone – but is taking steps to open his or her own business.

For instance, I met two partners who have not registered their business yet. While they are busy researching and implementing things to get their company in business, they have already drawn up a contract.

[All images are sourced via pexels.com]
[All images are sourced via pexels.com]

Tip #1: Draw up a contract between you and a business partner, even if your business is not registered yet. Why, you may ask. This contract will for example list the expectations and duties of each one of you.

Tip #2: Networking is the reason to attend these events. I have already mentioned in a previous blog post that many entrepreneurs attend these events to see if they can get clients. Another reason for networking is that you might meet someone that you can have a partnership with.

Lynette Ntuli, founder of IgniteSA, said that one should make time not only to be interested, but also to share something interesting. “You might meet someone that can help you with something you are grappling with (or vice versa).”



The IAAE was an opportunity for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners (budding entrepreneurs) to engage with successful business owners and funders. One of the hot topics was getting funding and strategies to implement if you do not have capital yet.

The IAAE coincided with the Global Entrepreneurship Week. IAAE organised by My Start Up SA and Ignite SA, was hosted all over South Africa.


For my “Small Successes” series, I interviewed two entrepreneurs about what they regard as small victories this year.

Sonja De Buyn Sebotsa, co-founder of Identity Partners was one of the speakers at the IAAE. She said that one of her small achievements this year was hosting a women’s dinner. “I rarely have the luxury to enjoy my personal cultural interests. I enjoy the arts.”

She explained the dinner was a pre-launch of an art fair. “I had invited artists, curators and exhibitors. Among the guests was Pamela Joyner, the largest collector of black art.”

The event was hosted at a friend of Sonja’s home.

The challenge, Sonja said, was the guest list. “We had to invite the right mix of people. Also, we had to sort out things like accommodation for the foreign artists.”

Sonja said another achievement was that Identity Partners have gone in a partnership with Ethos Private Equity.

Theo Ngobeni, fashion designer and owner of Mr Slimfit, was an attendee at the IAAE event. He said his small victory this year was seeing his baby (business) grow. “From struggling to [becoming] stable.”

He added that last year he had two employers. Ngobeni now has seven people as part of his staff. “The fact that I am employing people is an achievement. They depend on me. I am feeding families… I am feeding seven families this year.”

Well done Sonja and Theo on your achievements!


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