Vusi Thembekwayo’s top tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur


A recent study by Seed Academy into the state of entrepreneurship in South African revealed that entrepreneurs are not thriving.

Even though there seems to be small progress in terms of business survival rates, revenue increases and more women entrepreneurs, something ought to be done to change the current situation. The study says that the number of women entrepreneurs continues to grow slowly, but the opportunities are mostly for men and youth owned businesses.

“We still don’t have the basics right: early stage funding and high impact business support throughout the entrepreneurial journey,” says Donna Rachelson, CEO of Seed Academy.

Motivational speaker and businessman, Vusi Thembekwayo, says being a successful businessperson goes beyond textbook characteristics such as good communication skills, passion, being innovative as well as being a go-getter.

“For me, the number one quality all successful entrepreneurs possess is the ability to execute on ideas. It’s all very well to dream up original concepts. It’s another kettle of fish to get them off the ground. That’s the biggest differentiator between those who do and those who don’t make it,” he says.


1. Lay the right foundation: Your knowledge of your product or service is the foundation for your business. Understanding your product from the inside-out determines whether your company lasts those critical 999 days.

2. Think like an entrepreneur, not like someone who is self-employed: An entrepreneur creates a system that can be self-sustainable irrespective of whether he or she is there or not, whereas someone who is self-employed is always required to be in the business.

3. Become the producer in your industry: The price of your service is always determined by the prices of your suppliers. If you become the producer and the seller – you have more control over the amount of money that comes in.

4. Have the right approach: To break into any industry, you must approach businesses appropriately – all businesses are run by people and all people are capable of convincing, if you approach them correctly. You need to learn the art of negotiation early on!

 Vusi is currently running a series of entrepreneurial masterclasses in conjunction with Capitec Bank, to share top tips on what makes – or breaks – an entrepreneur.

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