Meet The Latest Winners of The MTN-SEDCO Cija Ngebhizinisi Competition

By Inside Biz

The MTN Foundation and Small Enterprises Development Company (SEDCO) partnership has transformed the lives of many local entrepreneurs.

Local entrepreneurs around the country are reached through the Cija Ngebhizinisi initiative, a radio programme and competition sponsored by MTN Eswatini and SEDCO.

Through this programme, MTN has managed to achieve maximum reach using the national radio platform, on the SBIS Siswati channel, ensuring the inclusion of marginalized groups who have all along been excluded by the language barrier as English is usually the mode of communication at most business-related workshops and initiatives.

We take a look at the winners of the fifth edition of the competition.

Funeka Mdluli – Infinity Global (PTY) LTD

Established: Feb 2021

Business: Supplies raw honey tubs to retail outlets such as Ok Foods and Spar.

Inspiration: ‘’The idea of supplying raw honey started when my mobile bartending business trading as Liquid Caterers was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within that midst, I came across group of boys from my area who were selling buckets of raw honey and l decided to buy from them to test the market by packaging the honey and supplying it raw to Spar. It turned out that the market was ripe for fresh un-processed honey. The product has been well-received and demand is high.’’

With the seed capital, Funeka says she will expand her business using an additional amount she will borrow from the bank. She intends to buy langsthroth bee hives and also order more supplies of honey from honey farmers to meet the growing outlet demand.

Nokulunga Sibeko – Mozane Projects

Established: 2019

Business: Grows vegetables and supplies them to Spar and OK Food outlets. Also supplies dried beans to National Maize Corporation (NMC). She has employed several young people from her area. The business is located at Malkerns.

Inspiration: ‘’My uncle was a farmer and when I couldn’t find a job after completing school, I decided to follow in his footsteps and venture into farming.”

She started off with E1 000 worth of spinach seedlings. Nokulunga also landed a fifth position in the Women Farmer of the Year competition earning her E15 000 which she used to expand her business.

She shares that she has always had a dream to add a feedlot to her business, hence she has been to butcheries in search for a market for her cattle. She will use the E10 000 to purchase two calves for her feedlot business

Siphiwe Simelane – Somco Investments Pty Ltd t/a Makhoba General Supplies

Established: 05 August 2021

Business: Stocks and supplies animal health products for broilers, rabbits, and indigenous chickens. Also sells live animals. She currently has two employees.

Inspiration: ‘’The business was inspired by the fact that I was involved in the farming business through poultry (broiler production), piggery, and rabbit production, and I often faced challenges in feed and veterinary products availability and accessibility. I then saw this as an opportunity for me to service the glaring customer needs which were not being sufficiently by the current market.’’ 

She also has a passion for Agriculture and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Economics and Agribusiness Management from the University of Eswatini (UNESWA).

With the E10 000 seed capital, she intends to invest in the business by extending her product range, especially in the animal feed section.

Sandile Siphepho – Superior Sabolanga Investment

Established: 2019

Business: A state of the art full service digital printing company based in Mbabane at the Corporate Place. The company provides high-quality printing services. It also specializes in graphic designing and further supplies stationery, and consumables such as toners, inks, and cartridges.

The company has three employees and its customers include PACT Eswatini, Thokoza Conference Church Center, Eswatini Environment Authority, Incomati, and PLE.

Inspiration: ‘’In 2019 I lost my job and that’s when I decided to start my own business.’’

Sandile says he will use the seed capital to buy stock and repair one of his printing machines.

Maxwell Mkhatshwa – Mkhuze Farm

Business: Grows maize and supplies it to the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD). He also supplies roasted maize to vendors. The business is located at Hosea in the Shiselweni region.

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