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Are you a budding entrepreneur or a small business owner on the cusp of making it big?
Here follows an edited (for clarity) version of a letter entrepreneur Owen Muzambi sent to Whitfield:
(Whitfield also interviewed Muzambi, scroll down to listen to the audio or read quotes from it.)
I wanted to share with you how you helped me transition into business. I tried to capture everything in this timeline.
In 2009, I was homeless and partly lived in a park in Westdene called Kingston Frost Park. My prized possession was a phone which had an FM radio. I charged it daily to listen to 702. I liked all the shows, but your show was the most fascinating. I called it my business school. I sold cigarettes and mints, and I tried to apply your principles.
Between 2009 and 2011 I did several odd jobs as a casual worker: security guarding, truck loading and carpentry. I kept listening to your show throughout.
In 2011 I was encouraged to start a proper business. I started an informal handyman company focusing on general repair work. In April of that year, there was a protracted Pikitup strike. I hired a bakkie, and I sent you an email offering to be a solution for desperate households. You tweeted the email, and a flood of calls came through.
Between 2011 and 2013 I collected rubbish from different households but after the strike, the listeners became a pipeline for my handyman business.
In 2013 a listener heard about the Awethu Project on the radio, probably on your show, and shared the information. I joined the incubator, and the rest is history.
Today, I am the Chief Executive of a development consultancy called Driven. We focus on inclusive development, mainly economic and financial inclusion, and lately also disability inclusion with special needs children in peri-urban townships. We are a 10-man team with an office in Rosebank.
On 12 April 2019, we will celebrate five years as an entity. It will be eight years since I sent you the email. And 10 years of listening to your show.
I have moved from selling cigarettes for 90c each to discussing financial inclusion interventions for entire communities with budgets that run into millions.
Owen Muzambi, CEO - Driven
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When you’re living in a park… some of the choices you have to make… it strips away the ego… After being broken down, you realise you should leave victimhood and a sense of entitlement…Owen Muzambi, CEO - Driven
Your show… empowerment through information… it became a catalyst…Owen Muzambi, CEO - Driven
You [The Money Show] do it [help] in ways you don’t even know… Being able to listen to CEOs speak… Getting support, that’s what you guys did… gave me access that I would otherwise not have…Owen Muzambi, CEO - Driven
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