Franchising is a viable business option for African entrepreneurs

South Africa’s developing and growing economy offers a sound base for talented entrepreneurs of all ages to develop their business skills. Franchising is a good option for these entrepreneurs as the industry grew at annual rate of 21%, contributed an estimated 9.7% of the country’s GDP and employed more than 300,000 people in 2012 according to the Franchising Association of South Africa.

The franchise industry in the country clearly offers many opportunities for people who have the drive, ambition and passion to manage a successful franchise. In addition, it offers opportunities for black entrepreneurs who did not previously have the opportunity to learn how to run a business.

Kayise Mapukata (54) is a good example of a previously disadvantaged individual who has taken up the challenge and the advantage of entering the exciting world of food franchising. She is the owner of the Maxi’s store in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape. She worked for a national health organization for thirty years before deciding to go out and make it on her own.

“I want to spend more time with my children, but I also want to leave a legacy for them that they can build on in future. I have always had a passion for food and now I get to use this passion to run my own business,” she says. Mapukata explains that the fast food franchise business is a very rewarding way for black business entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. “The advantage is that you get access to a tried and tested business model that also offers you independence, ownership and potential financial freedom as a business owner.”

Mapukata plans to use her franchise to launch further business plans because she can build on what she learns as a franchise owner. She says she has learned so far that it is important to have working capital and a safety net when you start your own business because you cannot rely on the business for survival during the initial stages of ownership.

“It is a good idea to raise your own capital or get family members to invest rather than getting a loan. A good advisor or mentor will also make a vast difference to help you understand your businesses and face the challenges associated with being a new business owner.”

You are never too old to learn new things, Mapukata adds. Although she worked for someone else for thirty years, she has quickly taken to running her own business. With Mapukata’s hunger for success, the sky is the limit.

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