This young entrepreneur has her eye set on building a construction empire…
In 2012 at the age of just 28, Phindile Mokoena resigned from her job, cashed in her provident fund and approached family members to help fund the launch of her construction business Mmena-Kwenain. Today the company specialises in building, renovating and paving and was recently nominated in three different categories at the Township Entrepreneur Awards – as youth entrepreneur, female entrepreneur and for construction.
“A key challenge during the early days was that we never seemed to have enough money and resources. I ploughed the profits from each project into the next, and bought the tools and machinery I needed as I could afford them.
“I was also focused on upskilling myself and registered for a learnership programme in construction supervision. The quest to learn more about the business is ongoing and is part of what it will take to move closer to the level of our bigger competitors.
My advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to find your passion and run with it. Do your research and register your business; it doesn’t matter how small you start. And when opportunities to grow knock at your door, be ready with all the required paper work or at least have the basic requirements.
“Accolades like the Township Entrepreneur Awards are a big motivator. It really makes me feel that all the long hours at the office and on the road, and all the times I have really pushed myself to the limit, have been worth it. Even before the winners were announced I felt like a winner; just being nominated meant I was doing something right.
“I am hoping this will also open doors for my company and also ensure that small township businesses are recognised as being awesome and that we can compete with big known businesses.”
The Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) launched The Township Entrepreneur Awards this year to recognise and celebrate inspirational businesses coming from the province’s disadvantaged areas, from Meadowlands to Mamelodi. The Awards were endorsed by the Black Business Council and National African Federated Chamber of Commerce.