Constance Makwale started her business journey from the bottom. She spent three years pounding the floors of a supermarket in Johannesburg, but a decade later she was manning floors of her own supermarket business in Clayville, next to Kempton Park. Constance established her company in 2004 and formally registered Vilolo C and B Trading in 2009 as a general trading enterprise. The business has since grown from owning just the supermarket to include a liquor store in Diepsloot; a mobile kitchen in Tembisa; a construction division that presently services the whole of Gauteng; a transport and logistics unit that delivers replacement parts for CAT products to various mines; and a trucking business that delivers wheat, sunflower and maize all-over South Africa.
Today, Vilolo generate income of over R5 million per year and employs 14 full time staff and 13 casual workers.
“I would like to thank Seda for helping me and my businesses with a business plan that assisted me to kick start my business,” says Constance.
Constance approached Seda for advice and assistance with growing her business after reading about the agency in a newspaper. At the time, her company was facing a number of challenges such as poor cash flow management, lack of general business management, inadequate knowledge of procurement and tender procedures and poor recruitment planning. Constance also lacked an understanding of the markets the company was serving and needed mentorship support.
Some of Seda’s interventions included sending Constance on training to improve her overall business management skills. She attended a small enterprise course that incorporated business planning; Empretec; Foss; and Quality Awareness to improve her management skills and knowledge. She also consulted with a Seda business advisor on a regular basis to obtain advice and input in business decisions.
It was after Seda’s intervention that Constance started four more different businesses (i.e. mobile kitchen, liquor store, a construction company, as well as providing transport services);
What is even more remarkable about Constance is that she grew her business without borrowing any cash. She credits Seda for this achievements, among others.
“My relationship with Seda is on-going as it has become a great part of my business and its success,” she says.