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Sophia’s Excellence Driving Academy   

Sophia’s Excellence Driving Academy CC is empowering women in the Northern Cape by assisting them to secure vehicle driving licenses which are in most cases the key that unlocks job opportunities. The business was established in 2006 by Sophia Mphuthi and she remains the 100% owner. Sophia’s Excellence Driving Academy believes there is a special need to empower young girls and women by helping them gain independence by having a driver’s license. Therefore the business focuses a lot of its efforts on female learner drivers and it is based on the K53 program which is commonly used in South Africa.

The business operated from Sophie’s home for between 2006 and 2012, only moving to a business premises once there was comfort with the on the ground marketing done to publicise the business. Sophie understood that the industry is predominantly and traditionally dominated by male entrepreneurs. The owner then approached one of the local mining companies for a loan in order to purchase a car and a small truck to kick-start the business.

Sophie approached Seda in 2010 to assist with marketing, as an integral part of the business’s operations, which was needed to create awareness and to grow sales. Promotional Material were developed to assist this business to create awareness, attract new markets and expose the brand to potential customers.

This intervention is believed to have contributed immensely to increase in turnover from R61, 000 to R369, 000 during 2010 when compared to previous year.

In 2011/2012, Sophie returned to Seda seeking assistance with implementing proper financial management systems. The business advisor proposed that a computerized accounting system be implemented and the owner be trained on the utilization of the system in order to enable her to keep proper financial records of all transactions and be able to manage her finances more accurately and allow her to make sound financial decisions for the business.

The results of this intervention were more accurate financial statement that were produced on a monthly basis.

The Academy received an opportunity to train 29 ladies for learner’s licences’ towards their Code 14(EC). Of the 29 ladies 18 passed code 10(C1) and 5 passed their code 14(EC). The mining company committed to appointing the ladies who obtained their code 14(EC) licenses.

With the company growing following the various interventions, Sophie moved the business to a business premises as the home space became too small.

Seda created a professional brand for her business premises and all her vehicles to ensure visibility.

Between 2010 and 2013, the Academy’s turnover rose from R61 000 to over R600 000, with about 6 permanent employees on the payroll.