From subsistence farmer to businessman
Completing a BSSA training course in basic business skills literally changed the life of a 47-year-old up-and-coming farmer from Koffiefontein in the Free State. Rabie Rens was so inspired by the eight-month course that he decided to bid subsistence farming farewell and plough all his resources into a new venture - a construction, maintenance and cleaning business.
Rabie's enterprise, Nqilashe General Traders, has now been awarded a two-year contract by Petra Diamonds for rail maintenance underground.
"What I learnt on the BSSA course expanded my experience to such an extent that I realised I could leave subsistence farming behind and be successful as a businessman. I now have seven employees, and none of this would have happened had I not completed the business skills training," Rabie says.
BSSA was contracted by Motswiri Consultants to offer the training to potential suppliers to the mines of Petra Diamonds in Cullinan, Kimberley, Finsch (Kuruman) and Koffiefontein. In included all aspects of business management, and special attention was given to pricing and costing, and tendering.
"My favourite part of the course was the level three business skills training - I learnt so much about running my own business. I also enjoyed learning about the tendering process and financial management. The BSSA teachers were excellent - they gave each student individual attention and made sure everyone understood all aspects of the course," he says.
Rabie completed the BSSA training during 2014, and officially started Nqilashe General Traders in December 2014. His venture was one of several assisted by Motswiri Consulting in taking up opportunities offered at the mines of Petra Diamonds.
"I would recommend anyone wanting to start a venture to undergo business skills training, such as that offered by BSSA," he says.