One of the things that I hear all the time from young entrepreneurs, from people trying to start their own business or even people who just like to complain, is that there are no local success stories.
The truth is that there are many success stories of South African entrepreneurs and business people who have excelled but these stories aren’t being told frequently enough.
In the USA they have something called the FailConf where they get a bunch of business people, founders and entrepreneurs together to talk about and learn from one another’s failures. In South Africa we don’t necessarily need a FailConf so much as we need an event to inspire us to push beyond our corporate aspirations and start something new that can grow into something amazing.
The Citadel Inspiration Indaba seems to be this type of event. The very first event is taking place in JHB soon and is going to feature some impressive entrepreneurs who have achieved great levels of success.
Herman Mashaba started the now iconic Black Like Me, from the boot of his car. Although he did not complete his university education, Herman ensured that, step-by-step, he “created the reality that [he] had envisaged for [himself]”, becoming one of the most recognised South African entrepreneurs.
Rob Stokes started Africa’s largest independent marketing agency, Quirk, in his bedroom whilst still a student. The serial entrepreneur is a firm believer that “hard work is the only way to go”, and it is this discipline, coupled with creativity, which has resulted in his agency being one of the most awarded on the continent.
There is a great line up of other speakers that I’d be happy to sit down with over a dinner and pick their brains. Head over to their site to have a look at who else you can hear from. September 2nd is too far away so it’s worth visiting the website to find out more about the times, tickets and general information.