*alarm goes off*

*gets up*

*eats*

*sits in traffic*

*gets to work*

[5 minutes later]

*looks at watch*

“Cool, only 40 more years to go.”

If only entrepreneurs and small businesses were offered enough support, through funds and business mentorship, we would not have many people settling for corporate jobs, and seeing them give up their creative freedom and true passion, for a guaranteed cheque.

I want to support and inspire these creative and entrepreneurial minds!

And my contribution to this is to provide a platform for artists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists to thrive at what they are passionate about, and to talk about the story and passion behind their products and services.

I think a part of me has always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Maybe start a consulting firm that offers support to SMEs. But I got sucked into corporate 9-to-5, and leaving a guaranteed paycheck is just too risky for me!

So I probably live this entrepreneurial dream vicariously through the entrepreneurs and creative minds I interact with through Alumni Valley; supporting their ideas and initiatives as if I am a co-founder or investor. Time and resources have been well spent visiting markets and businesses, and engaging with small business owners and entrepreneurs, listening to their journeys and plans.

Within the first few months of Alumni Valley, I had managed to capture over 50 stories relating to the growth, accomplishments and challenges of various small businesses and initiatives across the spectrum, from award-winning (Nelson Mandela Art Museum Award) ceramics-maker, Lee Hensberg (nee Steynberg) of Freakalee Ceramics, to stay-at-home mothers who chose to work from home and make a business out of their hobbies, which affords them precious time with their children (Donna Sheldon).

So I probably live this entrepreneurial dream vicariously through the entrepreneurs and creative minds I interact with through Alumni Valley; supporting their ideas and initiatives as if I am a co-founder or investor.

I have had the honour and privilege of capturing and listening to so many amazing stories such as that of the biggest Contemporary Art Gallery Founders in Swaziland (Yebo Art & Design – Aleta Armstrong), Township Guitar Makers who have sold oil-can guitars to Bono from U2 (Roy Bermeister of Township Guitars). How awesome is that??!! Selling a guitar to Bono! Nondwe Nyathi of Indwe Design, a Jewellery brand, has exhibited her work in Qatar. Dondatta Hoffa, from America, sells his music on iTunes. Zaid, an Autistic Artist, found his passion in painting.

Dressed by Wicomb Originals - Tatenda Mark

Dressed by Wicomb Originals – Tatenda Mark

I haven’t even started on some of the causes I have had the privileged of supporting. As of this moment, Mojo Velo is travelling from Cape Town to Addis Abba on bicycle, and part of this expedition of 15 000 km is to support and document stories around environmental sustainability. I have had the pleasure of chatting to a team of students who put aside their lunch money to support an initiative called “Feed A Homeless Hommie” that has gathered traction since its inception. Even those responsible in preparing close to 2 000 meals per week that are distributed to townships (Food For Life – Cape Town) form part of the Alumni Valley platform.

I have had the honour and privilege of capturing and listening to so many amazing stories such as…Township Guitar Makers who have sold oil-can guitars to Bono from U2 (Roy Bermeister of Township Guitars). How awesome is that??!! Selling a guitar to Bono!

Film makers (Ninety 5 Records), design artists (Hustle and Funk), Music producers (Silas Beats and Ultra Lord Music Productions), Freelance Photographers (Nazeem Flowers), you name it; they have told their stories here.

As of this moment, Mojo Velo is travelling from Cape Town to Addis Abba on bicycle, and part of this expedition of 15 000 km is to support and document stories around environmental sustainability.

It is no wonder that when I tell these stories at entrepreneurial workshops and events such as Lean Coffee, Cape Marketing and Startup Grind,  experts and professionals in the areas of marketing, social media, finance and the likes, have offered some of their services  pro-bono in order to give valuable support to these amazing small businesses and initiatives.

Alumni Valley Features on She Inspires Her

Alumni Valley Features on She Inspires Her

If you are reading this as an entrepreneur, I urge you to subscribe and share your story.

Advertise your product/service/initiative here freely, as well as tap into the business support systems offered through Alumni Valley.

It is no wonder that …experts and professionals in the areas of marketing, social media, finance and the likes, have offered some of their services  pro-bono in order to give valuable support to these amazing small businesses and initiatives.

And if you are an expert within the growth and development of small business, and having read some of these amazing stories, I urge you to contact Alumni Valley, (alumni@alumnivalley.com) and see how we can collaborate and offer valuable business support.

I hope some of these stories have inspired you, in the same way that they have inspired me, and I do urge you to subscribe to the Alumni Valley mailing list and get regular updates to more captivating new stories that are posted regularly. Comment on, like and share, the ones you enjoy.

Grow your business, support small businesses and be inspired. Alumni Valley is here to make dreams come true. And I would like you to subscribe and be part of this.

Have any questions? Please feel free to email us on alumni@alumnivalley.com.

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