“It takes a lot of financial management for one to establish a business, you can have the world’s greatest ideas but if you don’t know how to manage your finances then you are going to make mistakes.” These are the words of Mahlatse Masimini, founder and managing director of Moshate Media. Masimini established Moshate Media in 2009. The company is a 100% black women-owned media company, focusing on events management, publishing and advertising.
Moshate Media made R1 million in the first year of the company opening its doors with Masimini, aged 25 at the time, at the helm. Much of the first year’s turnover came from one of the company’s early projects.
“In our first year at Moshate Media, we raised a million through a project called Rural Women Empowerment. This was a roadshow event in nine provinces focusing on women in business.”
The project was a collaborative effort between government, private organisations and banks assisting rural women with financial advice. “We also held a mini expo as part of the roadshow to reach rural women in business,” she says.
Masimini, whose company is celebrating five years of existence, says she did not consider herself an entrepreneur until she recognised her ability to create concepts and ideas that could make money.
Big risks, big rewards
Masimini, who previously worked for a media company in the Western Cape, says starting a business was a difficult journey. She saved up enough funds to sustain the business for the first two years and her experience in the media industry played a critical role in her business expertise.
Although it wasn’t always smooth sailing. She says was skeptical at first of leaping because of the possible risks. “In the first year, I felt like I made the biggest mistake of my life, but now the company is well-known and the business has grown,” Masmini says.
The company continues to enjoy year-on-year revenue growth, and achieving 70% of its target revenue.
Building a solid base
Masimini says that many businesses fail because of ignorance. “A lot of small businesses mistake turnover and working capital for profit; there is a big difference.” She adds that the lessons she learnt in the first two years of running her company were invaluable, as she avoided some of the pitfalls that she encountered early in business.
Masimini believes in the stability of her business, saying if she had to leave the company for two weeks, business would carry on usual and money would still be made.” She runs a tight ship and believes a leader should lead from the front rather than the back. “I am a democratic person, I like the roundtable leadership style.”