My Background

I am a consultant and entrepreneur who is task-oriented and results-driven. I also pay attention to details while working on building sustainable wealth. I'm enthusiastic in finding new innovative solutions using a combination of managerial and technical skills.

I'm also an avid investor in small ideas, keen reader and social activist who is enthusiastic in finding new opportunities. I'm a strategist who is systematic in approaching challenges. This exposure lead me to be interested in human interaction and to appreciate what the human mind is capable of achieving. Through my vast interaction with different people, I managed to increasing my personal network.

It has became clear to me at an early stage of my life that I have the ability to spot opportunities which made me by nature, an


  1. defined as a person who establishes an enterprise with the aim of solving social problems or effecting social change.

As an individual with a positive outlook towards my challenges, I've embarked on the most interesting journeys in my life which I intend on blogging. These are the glimpse of my trials and tribulations because I believe that: "You must believe you are the best and then make sure that you are...".. I was once told that: "If you don't have enough money then you haven't helped enough people yet". The road to riches is paved with acquisition of specific knowledge.

Favorite Quote:

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

My Work Experience:
Entrepreneur & Consultant

Previous Position(s)

Executive Director | Dihlakanyane Trading (Pty) Ltd.
Cullinan, South Africa | February 2012 - April 2016
Director of Operations | Dithokeng Cleaning Services cc
Cullinan, South Africa | August 2006 - December 2007
Managing Director | Keyamo Management Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
Johannesburg, South Africa | April 2003 - November 2016
Managing Member | Mamphake Office Supplies cc
Rayton, South Africa | July 1999 - February 2017

Documan Consulting | Proprietor
Rayton, South Africa | 2012 - 2017

Current Occupation(s)

MEP Digital Systems | Director

Rayton, South Africa | 2017 - Present

The company specialize in digital strategy implementation in smart facilities using sensors actuators and other digital instrumentation.

Consulting Services
My Education and Skill(s):
  • Managerial:
  • I manage business operations within the information technology environment. I use Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Building Information Modelling (BIM), Project Management as well as Accounting programs. I studied management and I have experience in evaluating, preparing bids as well as compiling project programs, I assist clients with the planning processes, risk mitigation, evaluations, and presentations. I also prepared costing/estimates and condition reports. I supervise and manage processes as well as allocate work and project scheduling. I do marketing, liaise with customer, as well as assist in developing new and improving existing range of products and services.
  • Technical:
  • I design using computer-aided draughting (CAD) software as well as HTML, Visual Basic, SketchUp Pro, CoralDraw as well as programming in Python. I studied Architecture; Mechanical and Electrical engineering. I also configure computer hardware as well as setup networks. I prepare sketches, detailed drawings, and schematics including drafting of support documentation. My main focus is building expertise and finding sustainable solutions.....

Friday, December 30, 2016

My Branding | Entreprenuer

Holidays! What Holidays? Having a creative mindset with some experience in design allows me to continue looking at key areas of my marketing skills such as branding, product development, research and  communication. I considered what role design plays in them whilst finding opportunities to use design to make brands more visible and to add value to my services. I now know that design deserves more attention than it frequently receives from business owners and managers.

You see, Design has often been seen as a finishing touch in product or service development - something to be used after the strategy has been formulated, key decisions have been made and budgets have been allocated. I have managed to convince some design businesses to include brand design as part of their business strategy from the outset. This is because involving brand design at an early stage can save you money and result in a better offering and a better experience for your customers. You don't necessarily need a professional designer to use design strategically - just looking for new ways to meet your customers' needs is an important step in taking advantage of the benefits of brand design. Making even minor changes can provide considerable rewards. Part of my work process include finding out what customers want which is an essential starting point in designing competitive brand. The more I discover about customers' preferences from market research and design-led user research, the more likely I am to create the kind of brand they'll want to pay for........
c. 2015, Mabule Business Holdings

Long Journey Ahead.......

To You My Friends,
Life is a long journey, A long, long journey - a journey that begins with a tear,
And still ends in sore tear, A journey full of distresses, Possessed by variety and differences, But one thing I and you should know, Never destroy the Bridges, Over which we crossed to get where we are,
Today this is mine, Tomorrow the yours may be nine, So that I need and must appreciate, Nevertheless, don't forget me also to congratulate, When I offend you please forgive, And am in need, don't forget to give, For one thing I should - you should know, Never to destroy the bridges, Over which we crossed to get where we are,
For now you may not need me, But tomorrow it may turn to me, Don't despise I say Don't look down on me, Because a bridge that you'll need someday I may be - when you'll need to cross over back, When we are forced to retrace our back, Then the interest we didn't think of when destroying the bridges, Remains the only option for our lives to get there,
My friends thank you so much, You were a help to me that much, When i needed you most you assisted me, Laughing you did it not forgetting me, Through the tough storms we've sailed, so much and yet still is said, Because one thing you and I do know, Never to destroy the bridges, Over which we cross to get where we are, Merry Christmas to you.
Yours Truly,
Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Defining My Passion

If you consult the dictionary, you will see that passion is described as “a strong and barely controllable emotion.” But If you ask me, passion represent that inner and crazy power you suddenly get and need to fight for that something that you believe in and you want to build. And if you want to know something about passionate people, I can tell you that it doesn’t matter the subject of their madness. As a freelancer, who has dedicated his time to a hobby that some may find crazy, but where my resulted products are just as much a work-of-art......

Pop-Up Store: My Viable Strategy

With Pop-up Store, cheaper may not always be the most cost-effective option in the long run. For instance, renting a shelf or table space from an existing retailer may the least expensive option, but if it’s going to compromise the shopping experience or products I wish to sell, then it probably won’t give me the best ROI. I firstly determine factors in my budget, the amount of merchandise I'm selling and the experience I want my customers to have, before going with the pop-up store  strategy which gives me a healthy balance between the three.
Collaborating with other merchants: I've learned that I don’t have to venture into the pop-up space alone. When looking to minimize costs, I always considered partnering up with other merchants. I normally find enterprenuers that complement my business and see if we can set up shop together. As a group, we can share the costs, pool efforts on acquiring fixtures to help merchandise the space, split responsibilities of store hours, and co-market the pop-up experience.
I prefer to clearly decide the dynamic of the group and that I align my brand with other merchants that create a truly branded experience that is going to elevate my message and amplify my reach to the right audience.
Negotiating with the landlord: As matter of principle, I will never sign any rental agreement without haggling a bit. I normally bring up the following factors when negotiating - Rent, Refundable deposit, Utilities, and Insurance. Alternatively, I consider drawing up a different type of arrangement with the owners. Rather than pay rent, I also arrange for an easy profit sharing agreement.
Monitoring peak hours and staff accordingly: One of my top cost-saving strategy for my budget pop-up is to pay attention to my store’s peak hours and staff as necessary. That way, I won’t end up paying for help I don’t necessarily need. I monitor the number of visitors at any given time (using foot traffic analytics tools) so I can set shifts and schedules accordingly.
In short, My Pop-up store strategy introduces my business to customers more informally, like a table at a flea market. More shaking hands and trading stories, less of everything else that takes me away from my customer. The louwer of a smaller investment to start a pop-up store compared to a traditional retail store which could be 80% cheaper, makes the economy look a little brighter when people are still pinching their cents. Since my pop-up store is more exclusive than traditional retail store, I have an easier time getting publicity from my social media outlets. Viral marketing helps too. Again, there's a time constraint, so urgency is easy to sell when I've got a product that people like. When I develop a new market or a new product, I use my pop-up store as a great way to test the waters before fully committing to a dedicated product development. Majority of my sales still take place in person but the Pop-up store allow my Internet-based business to sell offline, potentially creating a brand new niche market.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Creed | Engineering

Dedicated to my woman.....

I am the very model of an engineering graduate; I work with systems and with problems both of nature delicate; I’ve studied properties of things in motion for the hell of it, Regurgitating answers to insure that my government ticket I’ll get;

I’ve studied design and learned the formulas of saturate solutions in normality that are immaculate, And programmed machines with large routines, I’ve written just so that Infrequently will I encounter problems that I can’t attack; I’m very good at systems both in digital and analogue; Have studied great philosophers; and can quote their dialogue;

I’ll work all day and never quit, that is if I can manage it; I am the very model of an engineering graduate.
I use my calculator for the answers found in calculus, And problems most encountered in numerical analysis;
Eventually I’ll run my own engineering firm.

My interests are much greater than my friends and colleagues might believe; I’ve worked with magic and performed illusions written to deceive; I’ve worked with people who do not receive the help and dedication they require so they might achieve.

My years of work have allowed me to become involved in engineering problems that have only partially been solved. My grades, might not reflect my success, and that’s why I am the
model of an engineering graduate......

Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Monday, September 12, 2016

Managing Interruptions | Entrepreneurs

Excuse Me Friend: I'm Working..... As I'm working on an assignment, and I’ve blocked out a few hours to really knock it out. And just as I'm getting into the zone, my co-worker stops by to drop off some paperwork then continues to chat about next week’s schedule. My phone rings and the email dings. At that point, I'm facing one disruption after another and when I finally get back to my project, all of my brilliant new thoughts (not to mention motivation) are long gone....


Well, For me managing interruptions wasn’t as easy as closing my office door because I work everywhere or telling my co-workers well in advance to come some other time. (I gained a bit of a reputation for giving my death stare or not answering the phone when I was too busy to chat—let’s just say, not the best approach.) During my study break, I've learned that there are some simple and effective ways to refocus after interruptions or, even better, how to prevent them in the first place: 1) Let’s revisit my closed door scenario or death stare scenario: How will my colleagues know when I'm eating lunch versus finishing a grant application before a major deadline? Answer: I will tell them in future. In my working environment, I now will be resorting to sending around emails, sms or whatsapp messages that says, “I’m on deadline for this period of time—please only reach out via messages with items that are urgent.” I will clue in a few key people and that way they’ll be less likely to disturb me and can also help pass on the message to those headed my way. 2) I will also be taking advantage of customizable technology and setting up messages to let my colleagues know when I’ll be unavailable. For instance, I've also resorted to changing my Out of Office response to say that I’ll respond to emails on this date or time. I will be blocking out time on my Outlook or google calendar as “Unavailable—Name of Project or Assignment” so well-meaning colleagues won’t choose that time to stop by for a chat. Non-urgent messages will sit in my voicemail for a few hours or days, and if someone needs me, they’ll come find me while I'm on route. 3) Get use to my 'Go-To Phrase' when you approach and I say to you: “I’m in the middle of something right now—can I check back with you later?” or “I’m swamped right now, can you send me a meeting request?” This way, I will know that following up is on my to-do list , but that now’s not a good time. Of course, while I learned to minimize interruptions, I won’t always avoid them altogether, particularly when a time-sensitive issue arises. So how to quickly get back on track? 4) When interuptions of an urgent nature occurs, I will try to pause for 20 seconds and jot down a handful of key words so I won’t lose my ideas altogether. I find it’s helpful to include arrows of how my ideas connect or using any other symbols to jog my memory. It doesn’t have to look pretty or make sense to anyone else—all that matters is that I can piece together my thoughts when I get back down to work. One of the most frustrating things about being disturbed when I'm writing, or designing or planning is feeling like I had a rhythm and now I’ve lost it. Instead of expecting myself to pick up where I left off. I now set aside a few minutes to go back and re-read the last few paragraphs I’ve written for instance. Using this time to make mental notes of what I was thinking or where I was going next and let them guide me back on track. Unfortunately, interruptions happen, so it's how I deal with them that matters. Therefore lets be proactive and have some smart strategies to get back on track, and together we can be more productive my friends....

Mamphake Mabule

Saturday, July 2, 2016

My Freelance Journey | Entrepreneur

Just as it is for big companies, successful branding is essential to the success of a freelancing business and to just one self-employed worker like myself. It is often times overlooked, most likely because many of us don’t realize the large benefits that can come from it. The first thing we think of when we think “brand identity” is a good logo. Well, A good logo can do wonders for a self-employed freelancer, but branding identity goes far beyond that, into entire website development, content, business cards, and even into offline scenarios.
In this post, I took a closer look at ways I define a brand for something as unique as a freelancing business or busenesses, and what I need to do to get started on the right track to a successful brand. Before I get into the specifics, I took a look at how a brand can help any sort of business. A good brand will lead to success now and in the future, and that is essential for a self-employed person that doesn’t ever want to be forced back into a 8-5 job. My objective is to create a good brand that will:

1. Defining My Business Goals
Before I get started in the design process of branding, I had to define what I want the brand to communicate. In order to do that, I had to define a few specific things in general, the first being the freelancing business’s goals. Beyond helping to develop a brand, I defined my business goals which helped in a number of other ways. For one, it helped me visualize the ultimate goals of my business, helping smaller goals become more proactive in reaching my long-term accomplishments.
I also need to be kept on track, from personal self-management, to anyone I may be managing in the future. Getting off track is why many businesses fail, and why many freelancers eventually go back to a day job they hate. Goals and a business plan helps me to stay on track. I took some time aside to set goals properly by writing them down, detail them, and thinking about them critically. Goals are helping me plan the future of my freelancing career for years to come. These are items I keep in mind when setting my goals:

2. Defining My Target Audience
After defining business and career goals, I needed to define who I’ll need to attract to keep the business alive. These people are, of course, the clients. Who is my ideal client? Beyond clients, am I willing to work with others on group projects (i.e. developer and designer)? Who would that ideal partner be? I found that my target audiences are often more related to one that sells properties, or to a developer or other form of professional person that relies heavily on other service providers. However, selling my services is no different. I recognized this and took the necessary steps to define my target audience.
I knew that how a brand is designed visually and how it is presented professionally will lean towards a certain type of person. This person should be someone I’d like to work with, as well as the type of person that will help my brand grow. When I was seemingly ready to open up my home inspection service and start on draughting services, I waited one more second and got prepared for the visual aspect of the brand-to-be. I asked some questions about my target audience before jumping into the design phase of my brand. What is my style? I'm more creative, so I want to appeal to groups that would need a creative service. I also considered a more sleek look which would appeal to business owners or vendors of “high-tech fields.” Consulting engineers, architects, and other professionals of the like are great targets.
To What Level was I Willing to Help and Communicate? It’s true; all clients have varying levels of understanding technologies, or processes and well, design in general. I also want to attract a client that knows nothing of the property world, in which I will be responsible for providing an easy to maintain process. Or, I also can communicate with a group of professionals, sending while out the final project to one client. This can dig deeper into clients as well. Attracting a client, for example that is maintaining a property may be easier to communicate with about inspections.
What work would I like to be responsible for? Many of us don’t like all the work that comes from freelancing. Especially in the world of paper work, many clients want us to do it all — designing, testing, and more. I would like to specialize in one area though, and I know it may be beneficial to have part of my target audience be those looking for partnership projects. For example, when I'm working on a design project, I may want to include developers in my target audience so that they could contact me to partner up on a bigger project. This way, I won’t be stuck without any properties and I can just stick with what I
How I define it on Paper - After asking questions and researching a bit more, and writing out my target audience in a list. I don't put down each item in a single-line type of person, like “Clients with a lot of property experience”, but rather a small very descriptive paragraph. The more detailed the description, the more success I have once it’s time to start the process of my brand.

3. My Business Name
Is it my own name, or a more formal and creative name? This is often times a step overlooked, but it is incrediblynrelevant to the final goals of the process. I plan to be the owner of a firm someday, or develop a team of propety professionals in any other way, with a given name as a brand that may become a regular house hold name. However, many freelancers chose to grow their business by always freelancing solo, while still outsourcing some of their work. There is a difference in each situation, and a personal name tends to thrive in my type of business.
I learned that bigger names tend to attract bigger projects, while a personal name tend attract many smaller clients. Depending on what I’d like to do in terms of work greatly depends on the brand’s name. So, in the plainest sense: an alternative name is more versatile, but my own name as a brand is more personable and each leads to a different type of client.

4. The Logo

My logos are the first step into the design process of the brand. It is the one graphic that my businesses will survive upon. My website, content, and all other design elements must compliment my brand’s logo, as well as work with it towards the ultimate goal of making the sale to the client. Whether I've designed it myself or I hired someone else to do it for me — I needed to be the one that decides how it will look.
Many times I get clients that let me have too much creative control when it comes to their designs. While creative control is always appreciated, when it comes to a brand — that’s a bad choice. Therefore I had to research and create a plan for the brand of my freelancing businesses so I can take control. Everything I've mentioned so far will come into play for the initial design phase of my brand. The names are an obvious factor, but the target audience and business’s goals will also come into play. I also keep a few questions in mind concerning all of this when beginning the logo design phase.
5. My Website, Business Card, and Everything Else

Now that I have a logo, I’ve gone through much of the design process for nearly everything else that will require design. It only took a bit more planning to complete the design process. My brands are very personal, a  blog works well to compliment the logo and brand as a whole. For those my company brand, I want a sleek web design, sleek business card design, and sleek, high-end stationary and other printed material. Well, because the rest of my design needs would be based primarily off of the logo design, most of the target audience and business goals implementation will come into place naturally. I Still keep them in mind when developing my brand further. I try not to lose sight of the goals, and always pertain to the original message I’ve planned for. I also maintain a high level of credibility in the web design as it is in the entire brand.

6. I Write an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is traditionally used offline when trying to sell a services in about 30 seconds or less. Pre-planning a small speech to sell my services helps to include everything I need to, while still having a crafted pitch that is likely to sell. However, as the technologies or work expand each year, elevator pitches are becoming increasingly important for freelancers as well.
An elevator pitch is very much a part of my brand . What is said in the pitch shares what I do, what my business does, and what me and my business can do for the person reading or hearing my pitch. When a prospect asks what I do, I do not respond with just, “I’m a freelancer” or “I’m an entreprenuer”. Instead, this is a chance to say, in about 15-30 seconds, what you do in detail. Nobody is interested in a “freelancer”, “entreprenuer ” or a “business person”.
I communicate what potential clients are interested in is “draughting services that focuses primarily on user-centric designs that are both creative and professional” or “a property developer that creates accomodation focused around users needs — uouses that are designed to sell”. Realistically, elevator pitches should be even better than the above. Furthermore, I use them as an introduction to my portfolio, or even on the About Pages on the sites to help make sales there, too.

7. Write an About Page
My about page or link is where clients and others who may want to work with me can get to know me, before having to make any sort of contact. I reflect myself, and the way I do business. Asking questions like, Is my brand fun, professional or to-the-point? Most likely, my brand so far has reflected my personality in its own sense already. It’s now up to me to write an about page that can “make the sale “.
If a person has become interested enough to check out the about page, then I know thatvI have somehow convinced them to become at least half-way interested in my services. Hopefully, I’ve attracted the right person based from my declared target audience. If so, how would I talk to this person? Content-wise, I always keep to my original style . For example, when communicating with a more company-like approach, I write more formally. For a more creative approach, I become personable and fun. My career choice as a freelancer and the work I do probably already reflects my personality a great deal, so I just become yourself which, in mynopinion, is the best option when trying to find a style for the about page.
It is of utmost importance for me to not try to sound like anyone else — my own voice is what makes me different from every other freelancer on the planet. After figuring in the writing style and how to approach the page, I then outline what to include. One thing I want to include other sections that further define my personality and business. The more a potential client feels they know me, the more likely they’ll be to make contact because me and my business will seem more approachable.

8. Getting Clients to Reach Me

Now it’s all about marketing and having clients find me. I’ve created a target audience, identified business goals (both present and future goals), built the brand in a design sense around those two definition, and created content that helps sell my services. This is all great, but at this point my brand is unknown and inactive. I'm not worry though — my brand is supposed to do the work for me, and given the time, it will. I let people know about my brand by getting listed on other websites, doing guest posts, or leaving messages in forums. Generally, marketing is the same — but now I market my brand as opposed to myself.
Keeping Consistent - In my own experiences with branding, I’ve found myself re-branding and trying out new things. It all came down to the fact that I had never taken the time to correctly brand my business, and specifically, that I had never taken the time to find my true target audience. That forced me to revamp my brand to meet my needs as time went on. I could have avoided the whole mess if I would have taken the time in the beginning. In the end, that has hurt my business because clients, readers, and other people that keep my business alive didn’t recognize me and my business after each revamp, and it also hurt my credibility.
It is essential to keep a brand consistent , for the reasons mentioned above, and for a number of other reasons. Once you lose the brand, you lose all of the benefits that come along with it. If you change a brand, even if it is being changes to better match goals today, it will have to start marketing from base zero once again.
Updating a Brand- As I change being a professionals and as people, there is no doubt that I'll also want to change my brand too. I may grow into a design firm rather than a freelance draughtsman, or a property Inspector more so than a designer. Much of the time a person will be focusing on one area of work, only to find over time that their skill set and interests have expanded into something completely different.
Brand creation is definitely an art in itself, and takes a lot of time to plan . Don’t rush through this essential step of a freelancing career — having a brand can not only benefit you as a professional, but also avoid fallbacks and can aid as a form of security. No matter how big your business is — how big your client base, your team, or your popularity is — develop a plan, a brand around it if you haven’t already. Then, stick to it, be consistent . It may also be helpful to take a step back if you already have a brand to analyze it. Can it be upgraded or further developed? Are you missing anything essential to your brand thus far?

Create a basis for the business to expand in new ways When launching a new project, a brand can be used to jump-start it successfully. A good brand confirms credibility and this is top concern among many potential clients. A properly implemented brand will target the right clients and this will help finding the right clients looking for exactly your style. Losing sight of where you’re going is an issue that comes from having no goals, but having unspecific goals will also create this problem.

Create a business plan in order to be a separate article in itself, but it is a great way to outline goals as well as include finances and tools into accomplishing those goals. Set short-term goals along with your long-term goals which will make it easy to turn ultimate dreams into business goals, as we should, but shorter, more technical goals can track success better. Make your freelancing business and goals associated with it as public as possible. If this means sharing with only friends and family, then so be it. It will help to motivate you to complete goals — keeping your business on track.

Being realistic: It’s ok to dream high, but I don’t set unachievable goals for a time given. But having irrelevant goals ends up providing little or nothing to the growth of the business, which is pointless. For example, don’t set a goal to take on another client each week that you can’t handle — this will likely only limit the time you have to grow and market the business in other ways. A relevant goal would be, for example, to expand to more than a 1-man (or 1-woman) operation. Create an action plan for each goal - “I’d like to someday own my own design firm”, is just not good enough. Have a goal-by-goal plan to complete broader goals like this. In other words, make the goal actionable.

Keep everything in line when working on a new goal. Reaching goals means business and lifestyle changes, so I make sure my finances and other forms of security are still tightly in place throughout the process. I took a step back to analyze the progress and I’ve learned to teach myself onto the next goal.

Mamphake Mabule
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

That Five Year Plan | Entrepreneur

Where do you see yourself in five years? Will you be a workaholic in the cities of Gauteng, living the simple life in the heartland of Mpumalanga or will you be a successful entrepreneur with a successful business? If you are reading this article, I am guessing your answer is the latter. While trendy strategies come and go, there is no substitute for classic goal setting. Here are a few experiences to propel yourself to succeed.

1. Review your goals every day.

Goal setting is like getting on the scale -- you’ll see greater success if you do it every morning. As entrepreneurs, dreaming big is standard practice. The distinguishing factor between the big dreamers and the big doers is that the doers take action.

“Sometimes our biggest life goals seem so overwhelming. We rarely see them as a series of small, achievable tasks,” writes Jack Canfield in his book, The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.“But in reality, breaking down a large goal into smaller tasks -- and accomplishing them one at a time -- is exactly how any big goal gets achieved.”

Behavior science expert and writer James Clear calls these smaller goals “systems.” “If you’re a coach,” he explains, “your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day. If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a successful business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.” Clear finds his success in focusing on the systems while keeping the larger goal in mind.

2. Evaluate your goals regularly.

Goal setting is a process of discovery as much as it is a way to get the job done. As you monitor your goals, ask yourself: Does this goal matter?

“Being a leader means finding the path,” explains author Kevin Hall in his book, Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose through the Power of Words. “But before you can help someone else find their path, you must know yours.”

By evaluating your goals regularly, you can make sure to focus on what’s important to you. For example, if your goal is to run 5 Kms a day but you’re starting to have knee problems, then you may ask yourself if your goal is really to run (as an end in itself) or to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. This kind of flexibility will get you what you really want -- and may save you from having surgery down the road.

3. Zig zag your way to the top.

While the idea of racing toward your goals at breakneck speed is seductive, there are unexpected obstacles that inevitably complicate any business. “The road to success is never a straight line,” writes Rich Christiansen in The Zig Zag Principle. “The diversions and detours I had often found so frustrating had actually created more stable and solid businesses. On the other hand -- and without exception --each time I had raced directly at a target with high velocity, I had failed.”

Zigzagging requires you to be nimble and flexible and to take advantage of multiple opportunities. When a challenge comes along, consider your goal and whether it would be best to forge directly ahead or to pivot toward a different, short-term goal. It may not be the straightest path, but being adaptable is the clearest path to success.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs I know, have achieved their success in part by practicing disciplined goal setting. By breaking down your long-term goals into smaller daily tasks, evaluating your goals regularly and being adaptable, you too will enjoy the benefits of your efforts.......

Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Your Rewards | Entrepreneur

Planning. Staying Focus and Working Hard Pays-Off....
As an entrepreneur, The three things I learned to do to be happy in life. The things no one else likes to do. The things that frighten everyone else. The things others can’t do for you. The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward. It is those things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between existing and living – between knowing the path and walking the path – between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.

Of course, the hard things are often the easiest things to avoid. To procrastinate. To make excuses. To pretend like they somehow don’t apply to you and your life situation. But reality always rears its head in the end and the truth about how ordinary people achieve immense happiness and incredible feats of success is that they step out of their comfort zones and do the hard things that their more educated, affluent and qualified counterparts don’t have the courage, drive or determination to do.

In my experience, I start by taking small chances every day. – It’s the best way to face any problem, crush every fear and overcome life’s greatest challenges. And you get just about as many chances in life as you’re willing to take. So never let your fear decide your future. Take small chances every day, one step at a time. Some will work out and some won’t. But good choices or bad, if you never take these chances, someone else will build your life for you. And you don’t want that.

A beautiful life is about spending your time passionately, being happy with who you are inside, and not worrying about everyone’s judgments. If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for everyone’s approval. You don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy or to follow your heart. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life. You are not in competition with anyone else; plan to outdo your past, not other people.

You need to invest in yourself even when no one else is. – Truth be told, there are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them. Prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do’s. Invest in your education, health and happiness every single day. Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside to everyone else. Do not ask others or the universe to guide your footsteps if you’re not willing to move your feet. If you really want it, prove it! Happiness will come to you when it comes from you. Success will be yours when you take responsibility for making your goals a top priority. Love is a verb. Act on it. Put your heart into goals that move you.

You need to make mistakes and look like a fool sometimes. – Quite often, successful people act the happiest in order to overcome the most. Sometimes you have to lose something precious in order to gain something priceless. Never regret your past mistakes and failures, because they have given you strength. The one who falls and gets up is much stronger than the one who never fell. The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end. So stop re-reading the bad one already and turn the page. Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. Remember, life does not have to be anywhere near perfect to be wonderful in the end.

You need to refrain from feeling sorry for yourself. – To those who are struggling, I understand how rough things are right now. I just want to let you know that things will get better, I promise. Keep pushing forward. I know you feel like nobody really cares, but you’re wrong. People care. I care, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. You’re not alone. We may be a distance apart, but we’re all going through similar challenges. Realize that self-pity is not helpful. Life is not about feeling sorry for yourself. It’s about forgiveness, acceptance and looking forward to what makes you stronger and better off in the long run.

Lastly, You need to deliver results, even when making excuses is easier. – NO shortcuts. NO quick fixes. NO blaming others. NO “I’ll do it tomorrows.” NO MORE EXCUSES! Just get started. Quit talking and begin doing! Laziness may appear attractive, but work leads to happiness....

Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Out-of-the-Box Thinking | Innovation

"I've got a problem!" What unpleasant thoughts those words bring to mind. Perhaps they recall the mental distress of some personal dilemma, of not being able to decide which way to turn or what to do next. Or perhaps they remind you of the frustration that makes you grind your teeth and chew the paint off your pencil as you grope for the solution to a tough question on a test in school but Problem solving is not just a hit-or-miss process.

Stirling Council for example, had a problem: The A811 road between Stirling and Loch Lomond, Scotland, was overrun with speeding drivers breaking the 30 mph limit on the stretch of tarmac around Arnprior, a small village. Solution: Rather than straight, even lines demarcating the direction of traffic, residents and drivers on the A811 were greeted by wiggly white lines that veered from side to side. The wavy markings weren't a mistake — they were deliberately painted that way in an attempt to slow down speeders.
A few years ago a friend gave me a seemingly simple problem."You have a checkerboard", he said, "from which two diagonally opposite corners have been removed. You also have thirty-one dominoes, each of which can cover tow squares of the checkerboard. Can the dominoes be arranged so that they cover all sixty-two squares of the checkerboard? If so, how? If not, why not?"

There are four distinct stages when solving a problem: First stage is preparation - You go over the elements of the problem and study their relationships. Read the problem over, several times if you like, to be sure you understand exactly what is being asked. In solving problems, a self-assured attitude is half the battle. Second stage is Incubation - Unless you've been able to solve the problem quickly, you sleep on it. You may be frustrated at this stage because you haven't been able to find an answer and don't see how you're possibly going to. Third stage is Inspiration - You feel a spark of excitement as a solution (or a possible path to one) suddenly appears. If you look closely, you can often gather important clues from the problem's surroundings. The last an stage is verification - You check the solution to see if it really works and repeat the stages if necessary. Don't accept unnecessary limitations. 

Problems of that kind sometimes are a whole lot of fun but present an opportunity for some out-of-the-box solutions...These are the problems that are sometimes require deliberate calculations which stretches your mind, enlarge your understanding, strengthen your thought processes, and maybe-if they are particularly devilish-even trick you into stumbling down a dead-end in order to see whether you can find your way out of it.

Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tsholo's Cakeoff | Campaign


I love fruit cakes, the old-fashioned kind, and always have. When I was running my cafe, I use to bake from traditional recipes. I always had been a fruit cake fan, traditional at the time, and that's the reason why I have develop a special taste for those cakes. I use to watch pastry chefs baking a layers weeks ahead of events, wrapped them in cheesecloth, and doused them lightly every week with whiskey. When the time came to ice the cake. 


Tsholo Msimango, is a one-woman operation, "The Queen of Pastry," As I like to call her and she gave me her recipe soon after the Lancewood Cakeoff competition opened for entry. Listening to her as she detailed the instructions made my mouth water, and I couldn't wait to try it. It is a fruit cake jam-packed with mango, strawberry, and pineapple. this cheesecake would be splendid for a birthday cake, is easy to make, and keeps well in the refrigerator for several weeks.

She has pride herself on her skill as a young upcoming pastry chef, and I'm extremely proud of her achievements. Get the recipe on the link below and cast your vote. I have already cast mine in support of this young talent.......

Friday, May 13, 2016

Work-Life Balance | Career

I Asked the Same Questions.......

When I began my journey I asked this question: How do you deal with your work-life balance? For many, It's a mid-life crises. Family vs Profession - Health vs Wealth. Is father time a commodity? Can you trade time and will this time always come back to you?

I believe my journey thus far has lead me to some answers to my question and despite the worldwide quest for Work-Life Balance, I have found an acceptable definition of the concept. Here's is my proven definition that has positively impacted my everyday value and balance.

To me, Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance in time spend on activities. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that. I know now that my best individual work-life balance varied over time , often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for me as a single parent will be different from that of a married couple with children for example; and when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.

There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance that one should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives. However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment which are ideas that are almost deceptive in their simplicity. Engraining a fuller meaning of these two concepts takes us most of the way to defining a positive Work-Life Balance. Achievement and Enjoyment answer the big question "Why?" Why do I want a better income…a new house…a child through university…to do a good job today…to come to work?

Most of us already have a good grasp on the meaning of Achievement. But let's explore the concept of Enjoyment a little more. As part of a relevant Work-Life Balance definition, enjoyment does not just mean "Ha-Ha" happiness. It means Pride, Satisfaction, Happiness, Celebration, Love, A Sense of Well Being …all the Joys of Living. When trying to balance, One cannot get the full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment....

Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Self-Retrospection | Opinion

What I Learned from the Arrogance of the Close-Minded...

As the saying goes: "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Some people have issues with ideas that are not familiar to them. They have a fallacy that demands repetition of their beliefs and thus results in a weakness in their beliefs. Once you know that that fallacy exists, it’s easy to identify those in as little as one or two conversations. How do I deal with people who are close-minded, totally stubborn in their beliefs and unreceptive to new ideas? When I feel certain I'm right and they’re wrong, but can’t seem to convince them to see things my way. And even when I'm in fact right, but that doesn’t prevent the others from resorting to irrational arguments to keep from agreeing with me. How do I deal with such situations?

The lesson I learned in business is unconditional acceptance, which comes about when I begin asking questions like: Why do I feel such resistance towards these individuals? Why do I feel the need to convince them of anything? Why do I have such a strong need to be right? What part of me is experiencing this resistance? Is it possible there’s any shred of truth in the other person’s position?

As I explored these questions, I began to uncover the part of myself that is resisting what the other individuals represent to me. Then I consciously decide if I wish to continue holding onto that resistance or let it go. I know now that the more I resist about the world, the more time I spend defending my position and that the resistance comes from my ego. When my ego takes ownership of my ideas, it treats challenges to my ideas as a personal challenge, hence the need to defend myself as if being attacked. But when I keep my ideas separate from my ego, I feel no surge of resistance or defensiveness because there won’t be any attachment.

People are free to disagree with my ideas as much as they want, and that has nothing to do with me personally. I’m able to write my words sincerely while from the other person’s perspective, I’m sure they are right. I accept other's position and allow others to have opinions as well but I don’t take ownership of it myself. I use praise in order to let the flow of the ideas and try not to take ownership of these personally. I also introduce an absentee third party into the discussion whenever I have to disagree with someone. I learned that people get trapped in close-mindedness due to fear, especially the fear of being taken advantage of. Unconditional acceptance I learned, helps reduce some of that fear, which may be enough to convince them to lower their shields and open themselves to new ideas.

Remember: if you attack, attack, attack, you may win an argument now and then, but you’ll only drive the other person deeper into fear, causing them to invest even more energy in defending their position...

Mamphake Mabule
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Turning-Up Ideas | Entrepreneur

I often read about successful entrepreneurs but I also ask myself what does it really take to turn a bright idea into a successful business venture? What makes an entrepreneur? How to generate ideas for a business? Lastly, where to go for advice on setting up a business? Throughout the year in my career I've been told that an entrepreneur can spot business opportunities that will fill gaps in the market. I too learned through experience that in order to succeed an entrepreneur has to identify key people to help achieve goals.
Even if you have carefully researched the market, there's always a chance that customers may reject your product or service. Therefore taking risk has become part and parcel of what I do because I've armed myself with the knowledge that in launching my business I will also need determination and energy to overcome any obstacles. Let me be the first one to tell you that all entrepreneurs have failures and successes. My ability to learn from mistakes and move on has become the key to the success of my future business.
As an entrepreneur, I solve problems.....Therefore my creative thinking allows me to come up with new ideas, or an innovative approach to a problem. With businesses, new ideas can result in a new product, or a process that cuts costs or improves quality, for example. Fresh ideas give businesses a competitive advantage, and help make goods and services stand out in the market. Once I’ve gone through the brainstorming process and come up with or refined my business idea, I also take time to check out the competition.

As an entrepreneur, I have learned that it can take a long time, and a lot of perseverance, to see my bright idea turn into a successful business. Therefore I know that I need to be prepared for this waiting period. To increase my chances of success, I too set myself up with a mentor I trust, and I also do some detailed financial and business planning. Now a business mentor is an experienced business professional who will provide advice, guidance and support as you launch and maintain your business venture. I make such that I pick a mentor who can help me analyze my bright idea to see whether it is viable, who can connect me up with key business people and customers, who can provide a fresh perspective on how to grow my business, who also be a sounding board when I need to discuss difficulties which I'm encountering, and finally challenge me to set goals for my business that may achieve better results.

Throughout my career I only wrote single page business plans which outline the following: My key business objectives for the next three to five years, how I plan to achieve these objectives, when I plan to achieve these objectives, Lastly how I expect to run day-to-day operations, and make business decisions. When starting my new venture, I often don't enough money to set up the business and cover operational expenses until the business starts to generate a profit. Therefore before I commit my life savings to launching a new business, I often ask myself some key questions. For instance: How much of my own money am I willing or able to invest? What is my business track record in terms of experience in the industry and will this help or hinder my chances of getting financial help? Lastly, Does my business idea have the X factor that would get funders excited about my venture?

Now is always the best time to start thinking about the life cycle of my business – even after I have only just set it up. Why? Because further down the track I may decide to sell my business, or close it down voluntarily. If things don’t go as planned, and I have financial difficulties, I may be forced to close my business. Therefore when turning-up those bright ideas, It’s useful to plan for all eventualities........

Mamphake Mabule

c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Being Determined | Opinion

Have you heard the story about how they train baby elephants? As a baby, the elephant is tied to a big tree by a strong chain. The elephant instinctively tries to break free, but it’s not strong enough. And the more it tries, the more the chain digs into the elephant’s skin, causing great pain. This pain convinces the elephant to stop struggling and to give up. Later, when the elephant is fully grown, the owner will tie it to a little stake with a small rope. That elephant is strong enough to free itself, but because of it’s prior experiences, it doesn’t even try to use its strength to break free.

Now with that in mind as a social entrepreneur, I too have experienced this same form of learned helplessness. I let past failures and the pain associated with those failures paralyze me to the point of inaction. I felt trapped and powerless while blaming myself even blaming others. I never wallow in self-pity but I was miserable because I didn't get what I wanted. Even when I had some great opportunity that were suppose to change my future, I didn’t take them. I then learned that there’s nothing wrong or broken with me. I just haven’t put in the effort and achieved the results that I, yes I am truly capable.

How do I know all this? First, because at first I felt like I was broken and helpless. But after I started working on myself and putting in the effort, I started achieving the results I wanted. Second, I’ve started meeting new people who moved from complete hopelessness. Everyone I’ve worked with who has taken consistent action has improved their circumstances, achieved their goals, and has experienced happiness at work and in life. I had two choices: Either I take a passive approach, which rarely results in success Or, I take control of my life, create a new reality and future by taking action.

The thing is I forgave myself and I let go of past mistakes. It’s easy to blame yourself for not taking action. I was frustrated because I allowed myself-limited beliefs to hold me back. Whether you realize it or not, that regret is eats you up inside. The reality is, all along I’ve been shaping my future. But instead of letting fear and inaction dictate who I become, now I taking those opportunities to tell myself the right story. I know I have what it takes to be happy and successful. I have broken free from my past failure and now achieving what I wanted in life. I have also acknowledged what I'm good at. That's right, There’s something that everyone is good at and It could be cooking, technical stuff, writing, building things, or any number of other abilities. That’s right, you’re not completely helpless! I just ask myself why is it that I'm succeeding in those areas? I'm not afraid to ask for help and asking for help, especially when I'm at a low point in life was really hard to do. But I have learned that the people who care about me want to be there for me. My plan always included to set small attainable goals. We all want to achieve our biggest dreams right now. But you know what, none of that happens in the real world. The key for me was to take my big long-term goals and break it down into small manageable chunks.

Lastly, I have become more patient. I was bombarded with the myth of instant gratification and success. But for every success story I learned about there’s an untold story of hard work, persistence, and the struggle that came before. Patience has been the hardest one for me personally. But I’ve been able to find motivation by recognizing and celebrating the small victories along the way, and finding a way to be conscious of and to enjoy the journey......

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Wisdom | Opinion

How I've Become Wiser with Age... Everybody has ups and downs, but over the years I’ve noticed a long-term trend: My unpredictable events of daily life tend to influence my state of mind at any given time but there’s definitely been a general upward trend – like equity of a growing small business. My career followed pretty much the same sort of trajectory: plenty of high-frequency ups and downs but generally up and to the right over the long haul. While that’s nothing to write home about, I think you’ll find the factors behind it illuminating, if not surprising. When I was young my world was small but my ego was huge so, relatively speaking, every little thing matters a lot. Growing up is about realizing I'm not such a big deal after all. When I stop taking myself so seriously and started lightening up, life got a lot easier. While I’m still a kid in many ways, it’s balanced by a sense of humility. We didn’t have everything growing up so a lot of things were improvements. And while I admit to having been a little jealous of the nicer things my friends had, rather than a handicap I used that as an incentive to work hard and strive to achieve great things. That relentless drive is critical to my success. I always had this insatiable hunger to learn: to explore, to figure out how things work, to know everything about everything. My parents encouraged it, although I don’t know how they kept me from going nuts. I’ve never been shy about asking advice of those who had achieved what I aspired to be. More importantly, I listened. Sure, I trusted my gut, but when their words really resonated with me, I acted without hesitation. That proved remarkably beneficial in choosing the right path when I was at a crossroads. I learned that life offers two distinct choices. The first is to reach for the stars. If you make it, great. If not, you have nothing to feel bad about. The second is not to go for it and spend the rest of your life beating yourself up over what you’re not and all the while wondering what could have been. Regret is a bitter pill to swallow. What I thought I'll find counterintuitive is that it’s all work related. The reason is simple. My priority has always been to do what I love for a living so, for me, hard work has always been fun and fulfilling. That’s probably why I enjoy it and over time, that brought freedom, flexibility, and a fulfilling life - A happy life. But there is a catch and learned that It doesn’t happen overnight. One thing I noticed somewhere along the line is, the less I pressured myself in the short-term – the more I learned to let go and relax – the more successful I became over the long-term. Life is a marathon, not a sprint therefore I'm not in such a hurry to get to the finish line and I’ll get there soon enough.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stepping Up | Development

As an entrepreneur, I've learned that there's a great difference between an amateur and a professional. As an amateur, I designed my own blogs, change my own oil in my car, and so on. All of this would take up valuable time and effort, causing major frustration in the process. I knew that at a certain point in my business, I couldn't grow any further until I hired a few key people. Nowadays, I leave these duties to the professionals since that's what they do best. This way, I maximize all of my talents, which allows me to reach my highest potential. Today, I only keep the best people around me. It costs a little bit more, but I've learned the value in "paying the price."

One thing that I had to do was to let old friends know that I was moving on in my life. Eventually, I have became fireproof. In the process of reaching my professional goals, I've learned that dealing with people is the most important attribute. Another challenge was creating excuses which was one of my greatest obstacles. I allowed my circumstance to dictate my life, instead of taking control of my life. Eventually, I had to let go of these excuses and limitations. Dealing with adversity was my greatest teacher and it allowed me to build the type of resilience that helped me walk through the fire.

When I became my journey in transforming, I had to check in with my mentors, telling them the brutal truth about my situations. In the process of making myself vulnerable, I was able to gain freedom, releasing myself from false pressures and anxiety. By sharing myself with others, I was able to maximize my efforts and make major breakthroughs in my life. Taking risks requires much faith in myself and others, but it must be done! According to me, Faith is knowing that what I want will eventually happen as long as I believe it. I learned to take major leaps in my life, sometimes not even knowing where it will lead because that's what professionals do...... 
c. 2016 Mabule Business Holdings

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Life's Lessons | Building Success

As a social entrepreneur, This is the most important post I will be sharing with you to date and I'm going to tell you the secrets which I learned over the many years in my line of work running small businesses. What I'm about tell you may be duplicated by any aspiring young entrepreneur and it is based on my personal experience. You see, from my early years, I not only wanted to work for myself but I found it compelling or a must or a madness of sorts and all because none of the activities I chose as work were classified under any formal education. Due to this reason, I always had a chip on my shoulder because I wanted to prove that I could turn this activities into formal sources of income.

When one is young, one tends to think less about taking risks or the decision making processes and in my case, it was my ambition or desire that was the driving force. Through my life's work I had a lot of setbacks in the early stages of my career but like everyone, I viewed these setbacks as valuable lessons. I had on average about two to three setbacks per year and they ranged from not positioning my business properly to not creating value in the business to losing focus to my choice in partners and so on. Even with these lessons, I wasn't getting anywhere.....until I started to realise that I had to recreate success using what I call aggregates or elements. Let me explain: I'm not talking overnight success or reproducing Patrice Motsepe or Nicky Oppenheimer but creating their success through different elements using my life experience.
Now, I know that these individuals are an exception rather than the rule. I therefore set out to study certain elements of what made them successful, and from my observations and experience, I could actually improve my chances of success over time. Now, in my case the key to success rested on a timeline: The first thing I started looking at was the amount of hours I spend working. This was a thorny issue because as much as I was a hard worker, I was actually just an average worker in my business. I was working on average of 48 hours per week instead of the 80 hours per week which was required. Yeap, I'm talking real work starting with production: designing models to developing programs to training, marketing to managing finances and so on. I'll tell you something, even when I don't feel like going to work, I still come to work - why do I do that? Simply put, it's got to be done!

The other element in the aggregate consist of self growth. And it happens to be the glue that stick the mix together. I'll tell you why, I realised that my setbacks were due to lack of experience and unfortunately I couldn't call on the assistance of a mentor. The most accessible resource for me was books and in the beginning, I use to read an average of 8 books per year with the normal excuse of not having enough time. Not much I know, I'm now reading 96 books a year and I'm not talking just talking any books. Instead, I read books that I use to improve on my business and personal growth. Through this learning process, I managed to reduce my setbacks both personal and in business to an average of two every 10 years which means that I take less time recovering. I know that one cannot avoid interruptions but I remain focus.
When coming to changing industries, I too was guilty with an average change in every 3 years with many excuses ranging from the business not working out to having other business opportunities and so on. Don't get me wrong, the new experiences were valuable but I learned that most people with whom I shared knowledge when working in specific industries had an average of 20 years experience. Be it a family business member or a director in a corporate, Now these individuals had managed to create real value over time in terms of equity by simply positioning themselves and mastering the process of picking associates to managing risks and so on. To me this is an important element because of the value created. With that said, I have a lot of diverse knowledge to share and with another 35 years, god willing, to build on my business and in so doing leaving my legacy.....
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Philanthropic Work | Community Development

Philanthropy (from Greek φιλανθρωπίαetymologically means "love of humanity" in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing "what it is to be human" on both the benefactors' (by identifying and exercising their values in giving and volunteering) and beneficiaries' (by benefiting) parts. The most conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for public good, focusing on quality of life". This combines the social scientific aspect developed in the 20th century with the original humanistic tradition, and serves to contrast philanthropy with business (private initiatives for private good, focusing on material prosperity) and government(public initiatives for public good, focusing on law and order).
As a social entrepreneur, I have learned that there are instances of philanthropy which commonly overlap with instances of charity, though not all charity is philanthropy, or vice versa. The difference commonly cited is that charity relieves the pains of social problems, whereas philanthropy attempts to solve those problems at their root causes (the difference between giving a hungry person a fish, and teaching them how to fish). The reason why I always advocate for philanthropy......
c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Social Entrepreneurship | Opinion

I get questions: What do mean when say you are a social entrepreneur and what is social entrepreneurship? Well, first of all social entrepreneurship is a growing global movement. More and more institution of higher learning around the world are now offering courses on social entrepreneurship, with governments and corporations alike setting up social innovation funds and incubators; and many young people I talked with all over the world tell me they work or run social enterprises or have become social entrepreneurs in their own right. Clearly social entrepreneurship has come into its own, recognized as a model that combines the financial disciplines of market capitalism with the passion and compassion required to create a more fair and just world.

But really what is social entrepreneurship? Put simply, it’s the use of new approaches to solve old social problems. Throughout history there have been social change agents and activists who have put their societies on a better path. But over the past couple of decades, a distinct, more entrepreneurial approach to alleviating the problems associated with poverty has emerged. That path-breaking generation of social entrepreneurs broke free of the false dichotomy between “it’s a business” or “it’s a charity” to experiment with business models, innovate new distribution and replication methods, and hold themselves accountable for results.
Social innovation is not just an invention. Social innovation has to do with how that invention, whether it’s a change in a product or a process or a new organisation, actually changes the status quo, is sustainable over time, and has a big scalable impact on a large group of people, particularly poorer, vulnerable populations. Take a new water pump, for example. There are some great new water pumps that work well in the lab. But how will you distribute them to communities that need them? How will you change people’s behaviour so that they use them?

What’s the business model behind the endeavor to ensure the pumps are well maintained and the model is scalable and sustainable? That’s the difference between an invention and a social innovation.
In the South African context, we are faced with educational challenges which then present opportunities for social entrepreneurs to tackle. Whether for-profit or non-profit, whether working in education or healthcare or employment, social enterprises all share certain characteristics. The first is innovation. The innovation can take the form of new products and services, new production and distribution methods, or new organizational models. For example, First Book designed a new distribution model to serve low-income children with top quality education content, while mothers2mothers in South Africa tapped into a new labour supply – HIV positive mothers, called Mentor Mothers – to reduce dramatically the mother-to-child HIV transmission rate in pregnant women.

Creating the greatest impact requires leveraging market forces and business practices wherever possible. That means generating income from the sale of your products or services, yes, but it also means driving a relentless results-based focus throughout the organization, just as any commercial enterprise would. This requires strong accountability and auditing systems, robust strategic planning processes, the discipline to measure what’s working and what’s not, and the flexibility to adjust sales channels or product lines accordingly. In addition to continuous innovation and business practices, social entrepreneurs have two other key characteristics in common. The first is that they maintain an openness to learning. Social entrepreneurship, after all, is a learning process by design and the reason why I put more emphasis on continues learning to acquire new skills.

Finally, and most importantly of all, social entrepreneurs are driven by values: dignity, access to opportunity, transparency, accountability, equity, and empowerment. We are passionate about the problem that we are trying to solve and keep our social mission front and centre as we scale up our impact. In many cases we have left potentially lucrative careers to found our social enterprise, motivated by a desire for a more meaningful purpose or struck by an “aha” moment that compelled us to act........

c. 2016, Mabule Business Holdings

My Profile