By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – Thandeka Lavisa did not sit on her laurels and complain about government not providing for her, but she started a small business selling SIM cards and has now graduated to a fully-fledged business woman.
Sharing her experience during a recent Information and Communications Technology (ICT) business breakfast, Lavisa’s story is true testimony that Vodacom is about more than just SIM cards and cell phone network connectivity.
She is the proud owner of a Vodacom franchise store situated in Maluti Crescent Mall. The mobile company’s vision has always been to empower her local business community of Maluti–a–Phofung (MAP) with vital information about running a business in the ICT space.
Lavisa’s journey with Vodacom is one of mentorship, growth and support. “When I push, I Pushto the best of my ability,” she said.
It all started with her selling SIM cards and operating Vodacom containers in MAP. She has now been entrusted with running a Vodacom express shop. She is the only black woman who owns a Vodacom franchise store in the Free State.
Keynote speaker Evah Mthimunye who is Vodacom’s Managing Executive in the central region which consists of the Free State and Northern Cape Province, had this to say: “I am a proud product of Vodacom’s mentorship programme. To be where I am today I received a bursary from Vodacom and I am now managing executive for Vodacom’s central region.”
Vodacom has multiple products that aim to assist and orientate SMMEs around the fast changing world of ICT. When it comes to running a business, credibility and legitimacy is what earns people’s trust. Vodacom offers its clients the opportunity to get a landline number for their business so that clients/customers can take your small business seriously. A DIY (Do It Yourself) website builder is also available at affordable rates. Instead of SMMEs paying exorbitant fees to website developers, Vodacom has created an easy-to-use DIY website builder that its clients can access on Vodacom’s website and pay cheap monthly rates while being in full control of the content they post on their business website.
Mike Phiri, who is fondly known to colleagues as ‘Government’ or ‘Vodacom’, says his key roles or responsibilities as a Vodacom representative who liaises with local municipalities are as follows:
– Improving service delivery
– Digitisation of inclusive government
– Stimulating economic growth
– And skills development
“We live in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) era. Vodacom aims to offer better serve delivery through technology by working hand in hand with local government.
“Vodalend is a platform for applying for funds, that is also available to SMMEs that need financial assistance. The mandate has been set and its representatives are hard at work. Ms Lavisa is a true example of how with the assistance and mentorship of Vodacom, any serious entrepreneur can achieve a lot in the ICT space.” Said Phiri.