B&B and bins win at Seda

2012-04-13 00:00

FOR the joint-winner of the KZN leg of the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s (Seda) Small Business Stars entrepreneur competition, Hlengiwe Zulu (39), there is nothing better than doing what you love on a daily basis.

As a child, her mother would make a point of setting aside food in the hope that visitors would knock on their door to share in the feast while engaging in jovial banter. The food did not go to waste as the visitors almost always materialised.

It is for this reason that she left her job as an administrator at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in 2007 to establish Siyakwamukela B&B in Bothas Hill — a three-room guest house that allowed her to fulfill her passion for hosting people, while giving her time to raise her two young sons.

Zulu’s business plan, which will now be entered in the national Seda competition, revolves around establishing a cultural tourism experience and spa in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

She joins Adesh Naidoo of Durban, who was crowned joint KZN winner. His new concept a “green” lamppost-mounted bin which is theft-resistant, making it easier for people to get rid of litter and offers cities a new advertising revenue stream.

Zulu and Naidoo have each won R15 000 in cash and R130 000 worth of Seda business support. More importantly however, they now have the chance to win bigger prizes and realise their ultimate dream of implementing their business ideas.

The competition is hugely popular, with more than 9 000 people having registered to enter the competition.

Zulu told The Witness that her passion for hosting stems from her childhood experiences.

“My love for hosting and cooking comes from my mother. At home, we kept aside food, like leftover food, just in case we had visitors. For some reason, when we did this, we actually had visitors coming over. I would help my mother bake banana bread in primary school and cook as well,” Zulu explained.

Zulu’s love of hosting and food comes from a key personality trait.

“I love people, life, fun and laughter. There is nothing better to me than sitting at the dinner table or having tea, to share stories and talk. I feel there is a need for a cultural tourism experience. What a wonderful way to host people, in your own culture. The national competition will give me the chance to make my dream a reality,” Zulu said.

There are about R4 million worth of prizes on offer.

“These innovative products are the tip of the iceberg.

The competition has generated a wealth of new business ideas and small businesses with exciting growth potential,” noted Nkululeko Kunene of Seda.

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