Young Business Woman Inspired By Solar Capital Entrepreneurial Development Programme

I grew up in Graff-Reinet where I lived with my parents and two brothers. It was not a happy household and I was glad to leave as soon as I could. As my parents could not afford to send me to university, I left home, got a bursary to attend the University of the North West and supported myself by working part-time. I put in a lot of hard work and gruelling hours, but in 2010 I graduated with the Bachelor of Commerce in Law.

 

I was very pleased with my achievements and went to Cape Town to try and find work, but without any experience I was unsuccessful in my search. I came back to the Northern Cape and stayed with my mother who had moved to De Aar in 2008. I took up teaching Grade 12 Accounting and Business Studies in Richmond and in De Aar. This was not something I enjoyed and I didn’t feel like it was a calling for me. So, when I saw an advert in the local paper about the Solar Capital Entrepreneurial Development Programme I decided to stop teaching and join.

 

At the same time as starting the Solar Capital programme I also opened up my own business – an entrepreneurial development consultancy. Although the programme covered a lot of business basics which I already knew because of my degree, I can now use the practical knowledge gained from the course to mentor my clients going forward.

 

My consultancy is a one stop shop. You can come to me about legal representation, wealth management, marketing etc. I have had a number of clients this year. What I do is set up a business strategy for them, help them with their marketing, and assist them with the smooth running of their business and in finding opportunities, resources and funding. At the moment I am working on a strategy for a fuel station in Phillipstown which I am finding very exciting. It is going to be the only petrol station within a 40km radius and will offer a number of services.

 

Later this year I will assist an OK supermarket that is opening up in De Aar. I am looking forward to that as it will be a large and challenging project. I am also looking to target businesses in small towns in the surrounding areas like Graff-Reinet as this type of business is just not found around here, and I think small business owners will see the value in what I do.

 

Solar Capital assisted me by funding the purchase of my office equipment. Also, being a strong student in the programme, many other participants came to me for help with their assignments or when they didn’t understand something. Through this I have managed to attract potential customers which will assist in the long-term success of my business.

 

At the age of 27 I am able to support both my brothers who are studying at university, one Industrial Psychology and one Sociology. I believe they will succeed in what they are doing, and I hope that one day we can all work together in the business I am building.I have a vision where they will work with me to create a family business that will last generations.

 

Solar Capital helped me and my family build a future which will be a legacy we can hand on to our children. Solar Capital gave me confidence to believe that I can achieve anything. Thanks to Solar Capital I am stronger and highly motivated.

 

Aljone-Meyer

Aljone Meyer working from her home office.

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