Zodwa Mlangeni established Mementoes Trading in 2012, which was been operational as a waste tyre transporting business since 2015. The business collects waste tyres – be it passenger, light commercial, 4×4, heavy commercial or off-the-road, etc. – from dealerships and collection points and takes them to the processing depot to be disposed responsibly.
Essentially, the business removes the hassle, free of charge, from these establishments, who are able to focus on their core line of business.
Mementoes Trading is a 100% woman-owned business and is registered as a primary transporter with the Waste Bureau and the Department of Environmental Affairs.
While the business operates from Witbank, it services dealers and collection points within a 100km radius, to areas such as Middelburg, Hendrina, Bethal, Ogies, Delmas and KwaNdebele.
Zodwa currently employs seven people – six permanent and one temporary.
Short term goals include extending the market within the region as well as increasing awareness around waste tyre management.
Long term, Zodwa would like to create more sustainable job opportunities by increasing the volume of waste tyre collections – which also ensures tyres do not end up in landfills or are burned.
As a SAB KickStart Boost finalist, Zodwa hopes to gain business mentoring and coaching as well as access to market.
- Inspiration: I receive my inspiration from Vusi Thembekwayo, who is a notable businessman. He said, entrepreneurs need to stop talking about our businesses as ‘small businesses’ because they are actually, big businesses in the making. Although his entrepreneurial journey was difficult, he grew his brand to where it is today, which inspires me to do better and not to give up.
- What drives you and motivates you as an entrepreneur? The role I play in this industry motivates me on so many levels: being part of a circular economy, excelling in a male dominated space, saving the environment from redundant tyres and teaching others not to dump or burn tyres. Also the role I play in creating sustainable employment and watching my employees grow with the company, is rewarding.
- Advice to fellow entrepreneurs: I have my 10-golden rules that may help fellow entrepreneurs:
- Having a registered company alone, is NOT enough!
- Take advantage of Enterprise and Supplier Development opportunities available to you.
- Exchange notes with other entrepreneurs.
- Do more, be more.
- Break barriers.
- Set new standards.
- Empower yourself – read and learn a new skill.
- Do not be a jack of all trades – rather have a speciality to focus on.
- Never entertain naysayers.
- Resilience will keep you in business.
- Something from your entrepreneur journey: When I registered my company, it was to supplement my salary shortfall each month. Little did I know that the entrepreneur in me was flamed. After employing my first staff member, I made a selfless decision to make it work because I then had a family depending on me for income. Over the years, I have been rejected, lost money and had many sleepless nights but I would not trade my journey for anything because I have watched myself grow as a person and watched my company grow.
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