Ms. Sezanele Zondi is a wife and mother, Philanthropist, Speaker, God fearing, purpose driven and an ambitious person who believes that nothing is impossible if you put your mind into it.
Ms. Sezanele holds a MBA, B Tech in Marketing, Advance Management Diploma, Certificate in Project Management, National Diploma in Marketing and currently completing qualification as a Life Coaching (COMENSA).
Sezanele has vast experience in enterprise development which she obtained from her previous and current employment at Land Bank, ABSA and MEGA.As someone who is passionate about SMMEs success and empowerment, she serves as a Business Mentor and Coach for Fetola Business Growth Professionals, Cherie Blare Foundation, National Mentorship Movement and NYDA. Sezanele is among the top 100 Difference Makers in SA for her Charity work and is a member of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa.
Why is Mentoring Important for a Young Black Business Owner?
Having a mentor allows the entrepreneur to get a different perspective of their business, when you have been running a business for a while you tend to accept and adapt to your own ways of business dealing and cannot see other opportunities and even the mistakes.
A mentor is able to provide guidance, support, network, confidence, advice, and new way of thinking and share his/her expertise with the mentee in order to help the vision grow. During my thesis on “the factors that causes entrepreneurs to fail?” the highest factor on my findings was that most business fails due to lack of mentorship.
I believe that a mentor is a must have for every business owner.
You have worked with several young business people, what are some of the major challenges they face?
Being a young entrepreneur you are faced with so many challenges such as lack of access to finance, limited business knowledge and resources, societal pressure and expectations, lack of financial discipline and accountability, lack of network to help your business grow and bottleneck within the system.
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Can you share some key reasons why people fail in business?
- The biggest factor is the mismanagement of funds which most entrepreneurs fails to account for their finance and also having no financial discipline.
- Lack of proper systems in the business.
- Lack of ability to listen and overlooking your mentor’s advice because it is your business.
- Lack of business knowledge and industry requirements.
- Failure to adapt to change, Covid19 has changed the entire business dynamics and it is only entrepreneurs who can adapt to change that will remain operational and survive.
Some Pearls of Wisdom to Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
I believe that an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a professional or an academic but it is someone who identifies an opportunity, which means you need a mentor to help your vision becomes a reality.
- Build your network because your net worth is equals to your network
- Be intentional and never allow anything to hinder your goals
- Have a mentor/ coach that will be available to guide you and keep you motivated
- Learn to build a team and trust, a business that cannot function without you as the owner will never grow.
- Be open to new ideas, criticism and advice from your mentor.
- Failure to achieve your dream doesn’t mean it is the end of the road but it is a season of learning and use the lessons learned to better yourself.
Lastly let me quote this powerful words from one of the greatest inventor and businessman Mr Thomas Edison “vision without executing it, is just a hallucination”
So after dreaming and setting goals as an entrepreneur you must wake up and make up!!!
Can You Share Some Success stories of Businesses You’ve Worked it?
One of the most difficult thing is to single out some of the successful businesses that l have been mentoring over the years because according to me all of them are successful except for those that have failed.
The reason l believe they are all successful is because when you are mentoring businesses, you deal with entrepreneurs who are in different business cycle, some are start-ups, some are operating informal in their households backyards; some are not profitable, some with poor or no systems in place and some had no clue on which direction to take in order to grow.
As a mentor l measure success based on achieving set milestones with every entrepreneur such as achieving profit, creating sustainable jobs, increasing sales and having stable market, securing contracts and funding.
In my world success can be defined and measured in many ways based on different successful achievements…which is what keeps me motivated and inspired to continue doing what l am doing.