Women on starting businesses and the support they hoped to receive from friends

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • When starting a business, you are likely to tell your friends about it first.
  • It is great for friends to cheer you on, but it's even better to have their financial support too.
  • It does not always work out that way, and it may dent a friendship.

Being supported by friends is important, and to a certain extent, it is expected for them to be right by your side. 

When you have an idea or are starting a business, your friends will likely be the first to know about it, and you are probably going to lean on them for the support and boost your confidence to forge forward. 

 While cheering a friend on is great, it is equally important to pay for their services or buy a product even if you don't need them. 

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Katlego Rammekoa is a 34-year-old in the construction business. Her business started nine years ago. She wished that things had turned out differently when getting support from friends.

"I don't have friends that come to me and say here is an opportunity. I have always had to find my way and start my business relationships," she says.

"In nine years, a friend only vouched for me once, and that did not go so well because she stopped talking to me. I found myself constantly having to bow down to her as though I owed her. Friendships and business don't go too well together."

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Salon owner Khosi Hlope opened her salon a year ago.

"My friends were first to know about my business. They were excited and always asked how the business was going. Honestly, I expected them to be my number one supporters, but it never happened that way, so I learned and felt like they were never asking for genuine reasons. They never believed that I would open a business. That experience taught me to not expect a lot from people we know because they will disappoint you," she says.

Khosi says true friends supported her by coming to the salon, and it was a defining moment for her because her perspective on friendship changed.

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Faith George started her business during Covid, Serene Wellness and Beauty. She admits that getting support from her friends was expected but not as she had hoped.

"When I launched the business, I had one friend, who jumped at the opportunity to buy my products and book appointments, not just for herself but for her family members. She went as far as advertising for me on her social media pages," Faith says.

"Other friends clapped and cheered me on, on the sidelines. I think as soon as one or two realised that my business is 'legit' or going somewhere, they sort of tested the waters, bought products from me but not for them, for other people, I guess support is different for everyone," she adds.

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Faith says she has learnt that friends will hardly support your businesses, especially financially. They will clap and congratulate you, and that's their way of supporting you.

"I make it a point that I use my friend's services, even if it's once, and I advertise for them on social media and word of mouth even refer people," Faith says.

"That kind of support from me to them would mean the world to me if they did the same. But hey..."

Have your friends been supportive of your business venture? Tell us here.

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