Thembekwayo's advice for a wannabe egg farmer

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Cape Town - Are entrepreneurs born or made? That is a question that many experts and motivational speakers have had to answer. Fin24 has received numerous requests from people interested in starting farming businesses, but lack financing or partnerships. Dragons Den South Africa presenter Vusi Thembekwayo answers a user's question.

Advice to Fin24 user

Fin24 user Daniel Moeletsi from Dennilton in Limpopo said he wanted to become an egg farmer, but he couldn’t get funding. “I've tried big companies like Anglo American for funding and, at first they seemed to be willing to assist, but they give up along the way. I've tried to enter the Big Break Legacy competition, but they've turned me down and recently I applied for Dragons Den, but once again I've been turned down after some promising responds. How can I get funding to start?"

Thembekwayo responded to the query:

“We were actually confronted with a few of these cases. Often people come up with an end idea and want to get there without following a process. I often use the alphabet as an example. To get from A-Z, you need to go through each alphabet. And so it is with entrepreneurship. 

“Young black entrepreneurs often want to skip the process and I tell them that they need to start with what they’ve got. Get the small things working and slowly build a track record.

“No one is going to give you money to get you where you are to where you want to be. You have to build small successes and build a track record. What do you know about eggs? Get into egg retail perhaps: build commercial skills, learn about margins, and learn who the end user is. Generate cash. Create discipline. After you have been selling eggs for a certain time, go to a funder and show your proof of credibility and gravitas. 

“Take my graded entrepreneur process, instead of looking for blue sky funding. Find the right funding at the right level. Start small with 1 000 eggs and then get working capital funding to produce 10 000 eggs. 

“So many people want to start at A and then get to Z without any process. They think Virgin happened in day. Richard Branson started one business, then a few more. He had some failures and closed some businesses down. Then he started building again and eventually became successful. That’s how it works.”

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