Making a go of graphics in Gugulethu
Bheki Kunene started his own business, Mind Trix Media, in 2009 with just R600 and a computer. Today he has eight employees and clients across the globe.
Kunene told his story at the third annual Ekasi Business Conference at Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha last week. The 26-year-old said he studied web design and started his own business after graduating.
Mind Trix Media is a graphics and web design, app development, search engine optimisation, and print marketing material company based in Gugulethu. This is an unusual type of business in the townships where most people don’t see how these services can help grow their own businesses.
Kunene said, “I managed to land my first client after a short time while with AAA Shuttles, doing branding for them.”
He said, “My biggest challenge was the access to capital when I was starting up. It is very hard for small businesses from the townships to be taken seriously.”
Kunene’s location in Gugulethu was seen as a disadvantage by businesses in the suburbs which could have used his services. But he stuck it out.
He said, “From where I started and where I am now I’m happy. I’ve employed eight people and we’re doing very well. We have clients from as far away as the United States, Vietnam and close by in Zimbabwe.”
Kunene said one of the reasons Mind Trix Media is township based is that he wants to inspire youngsters to start their own businesses.
“We have a scholarship programme which helps learners who want to study web and graphic design and so far we’ve helped about 30 to 40 learners and we give some of them internship opportunities.”
“We still want to grow our clientele both locally and internationally so we can grow our market share.
“We would also like to open more offices throughout Cape Town townships and in the rest of the country.”
The mastermind behind the Ekasi Business Conference is also an entrepreneur based in the townships - Luvuyo Rani, co-founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies.
Rani said, “We started this conference to try and make people see our townships as investment opportunities and help up-and-coming entrepreneurs. And it has helped young entrepreneurs such as Bheki Kunene to grow their business.”
“Because of the huge response we get from local entrepreneurs we would like to expand the conference from just two days to a week and spread to other provinces.”
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