Lebo Poonyane and Nick Binnedel

Lebo Poonyane and Nick Binnedel
GIBS Full Time Entrepreneurship challenge winner
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Time

What is the value of time?
Being young,I think the value of time is never truly appreciated.I mean,how many days in the last month can you truly account for? How many hours of your day seem to just disappear without explanation? In fact, how many hours of your day can you account for-in terms of the value that you've ascribed to those hours?
Personally, i am somewhat unhappy with the way in which my time is allocated and spent,overall. Don't get me wrong, I think that have been able to use most of my time in a productive and value creating way. But,when I do a simple analysis the total use if my time, it becomes clear to me that I could so much more if only I allocated my time more efficiently.
After all, all the time that is unaccounted for is "lost" forever,and nothing,not money,the universe or God, can bring that time back.

LP


-Posted using LP's IPad.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No easy way out

If your gonna be an entrepreneur, make sure your body,mind and soul is prepared for it. The only thing that can prepare you for life as an entrepreneur,is actually living as an entrepreneur,no matter what.

Although filled with many challenges and hard times,the eventual success and personal fulfillment will bring joy that is comparable to nothing else.

Enjoy the ride and trust the process.

- Posted using BlogPress from LP's IPad.

Monday, September 27, 2010

JAY-Z and WARREN BUFFET on the FORBES Cover!!

This is my favourite Forbes cover of all time!!
 My favorite investor and my favorite musician on the cover of one of the most successful magazines in the world. The most inspiring thing about the cover for me, is that the individuals on it both began from the most modern of beginnings, discovered their talent and uniqueness from an early age, worked their "asses" off and eventually made successes of themselves. Notice how they`re both ENTREPRENEURS!!! 

Read the full Forbes interview here.  Very inspiring.   


Now, what i would like to see happen is a similar local Magazine cover. Maybe Tokyo Sexwale, with DJ Fresh or Maggz, on the cover of the Financial mail magazine....would`nt that be interesting?  




Monday, August 30, 2010

There is no secret to success...

Will Smith - Secret to success

I feel like i`ve watched Will Smith progress..... moving from a young musician (rapper), to a tv star in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air into the MEGA successfull and focused individual that he currently is.
I can honestly say, without reservation, that i am a fan!!! This guy inspires me to do better all the time.

Check out the video. I hope it inspires you to dedicate your life to your dreams and do whatever it takes to succeed -whatever success means to you.

LP

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Howzit my china?

So we`ve been in China for almost two weeks now, but have not been able to blog because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the Chinese government does not allow access to any social network websites, except for Chinese based ones, which they ultimately, in one way or another, control too. If a substantial part of your everyday life depends on social network websites and blogs (as mine does), then it may be prudent to get hold of one of those IP masking software packages` that allow you to access any website from anywhere in the world, before making your way to Beijing, China. I wish someone had told me this before I left beautiful South Africa. Anyway, that’s all spilt milk now.

Besides the glitch with the social websites, the trip has been quite interesting and surprising thus far. Overall, I am pleased with my decision to travel to Beijing. Here is a brief overview of what we have been exposed to so far.

The Chinese Political Economy

It would be foolish to separate workings of the Chinese Economy from the ruling Chinese political party. The economy has been unashamedly described by some Chinese people as a “Planned Free Market”economy. There is only one ruling party in China, which (still) follows a largely Marxist and communist model. The government is heavily involved in the market economy, and it seems that the government controls all companies in major industries. For instance, there is only one mobile network (China Mobile)which is “owned” and the country’s major fuel and oil companies (Sinopec and Petro China) are state owned. The Chinese ruling party clearly has a tight grip on its economies` “commanding heights.”

Notably, within this Political control, the Chinese economy has been growing at rapid speeds over the past couple of years, easily exceeding other developed western economies. The growth has been fuelled by an obsessive focus on manufacturing and Industrial work, which is evident in the city of Beijing. There city is large, complimented by skyscraping office and apartment buildings (some of which are incomplete and seem deserted), huge Shopping malls and pollution levels that would make any “green evangelist” quiver with fear and anger.

The political structure is unique to China. There is only “one” ruling political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which happens to be the largest political party in the world. Apparently, the CCP maintains its supreme power over China by controlling the entire State and Legislative process. There are a number of opposition parties within the political system, however their role is questionable as most were formed by the CCP.

So, as many foreign companies that have entered the Chinese economy have already learnt, it is a necessity to engage and “involve” the Chinese ruling party in all discussions that involve doing business in China. Hopefully our government and local businesses` understand this principle and are treading with informed levels of caution and excitement whilst working with the Chinese.

The Chinese People

It is common knowledge that China has one of the largest populations in the world. The country has in excess of 1,3 billion people – that’s almost five times the United States population, over 27 times the South African Population and over 260 times the Irish Population.

The country has a diverse but highly disproportionate Ethinic group structure, with Han Chinese (91.5%), Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities (8.5%.) This situation, unfortunately, lends itself to vast forms of discrimination and favouritism amongst the majority groups. The language most spoken is Mandarin, which according to some locals, has been made easier in order to accommodate the minorities and foreigners in the country. Somehow I fail to grasp this concept, but then again the entire language structure, including its written form, is completely different to that which we are taught in the west. Thus far i`ve only been able to grasp two essential everyday words; Ni-Hao (Hello) and ShenShen (Thank you). I plan to add a couple of more words to my Chinese vocabulary before I return home.

Ironically though, China has the largest concentration of English speaking people across the world. But, it is extremely difficult to find an English speaking Chinese person in the city. This has led to us traveling the city with a list of addresses written in simplified mandarin so that we can let the taxi cab driver know our intended destination. At first, this was quite a nerve wrecking exercise because, not being able to read mandarin, we had no idea what was actually written on the lists.

Like most developing nations, there is a visible wealth gap among the people of China. (Using the city of Beijing as a reference.) The official statistics and reports claim that the gap between the wealthy and the poor has decreased substantially, but some of the UIBE university lecturers that we`ve spoken to disagree.(Gini co-efficient of 0,47). Life for many of the people in the rural areas has not changed much – they continue to live in stark poverty. The streets of Beijing city are filled with “rural” immigrants that have come to the city in search of jobs. It has become common to have “beggars” tugging away at our shirts’ pleading for money and food. However, there is also a healthy community of industrious rural Chinese people (traders) that fill the streets through the days and evenings, choosing to work for themselves instead of begging for small change in the streets. These people erect stalls on the pavements of the city each day (through to late hours of the evening) and sell anything from fruit, Chinese beads and “almost Nike and Adidas” sneakers and t-shirts.

I find it hard not to draw comparisons between South Africa and China while im here, even though I feel that the countries’ circumstances are somewhat different. I will do a blog post with some notable comparisons towards the end of the trip, and hopefully share some cool insights.





Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Th South African Invasion of China!!! Part1

The month period beginning 11 June 2010 until 11 July 2010 is arguably the most important for South Africa, and the entire African continent, courtesy of the first ever African Soccer World Cup!! This event will surely change the, usually, negative perception of South Africa to the rest of the world. South Africans can now confidently boast a world class economy and country, and have the World Cup event serve as proof of the country`s stature.  

Despite widespread criticism on the expenditure levels that had to be made to make the event possible in the country, the World Cups` benefits will far outweigh the costs, in the short and long term. It is almost certain that many countries will look to South Africa for additional business, thus increasing the country`s general trade levels, in many industries. This increased interest in the country and trade can only bode well for the South African economy.   

However, this situation makes it increasingly important for South African Entrepreneurs to be on the lookout for opportunities that may arise as a result of the World Cup. Many of these opportunities will be of a global nature, and thus require small businesses to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills for dealing international businesses. The global business landscape presents major growth opportunities for small businesses, but equally requires some major advances and sacrifices from local entrepreneurs. China will, undoubtedly, become an even bigger trading partner with South Africa, and Africa. Some commentators have termed the Chinese interest of the continent as the "Chinese Invasion", postulating that the Chinese will pillage and exploit the continent for its natural resources. This may or may not be true. But, the reality is that the Chinese are coming.  But, are we (The Entrepreneurs) ready for them? 

Are we ready for the Chinese Invasion?  


Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to live before you die

I sometimes find myself wondering how i can keep motivated, to keep going even though i`m not too certain where exactly i`m going to.... how does "one" live before they die?

Steve Jobs seems to have some sort of an answer to this question....


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Black Entrepreneur Network


I recently came across this blog, www.blackpreneur.net/blog/, which seems to be dedicated to profiling black entrepreneurs across Africa. Some of the stories that i`ve come across on the blog are truely inspirational and confirm my belief that African`s are naturally Entrepreneurial.


This blog has the right idea!!.

LP

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Entrepreneur Profile - THEBE IKALAFENG

I believe that we, as people, are inspired by those people that we admire. It should then be fitting to identify these people, the one`s that we want to be "like", and try to emulate them as closely as we possibly can.  This section of the blog is dedicated to profiling the Entrepreneurs, "the crazy one`s", the one`s that are constantly looking to change the game. THE MAVERICKS!!

It is my honour and pleasure to profile Mr Thebe Ikalafeng, as the first our maverick Entrepreneurs. I hope that you become as inspired by Mr Ikalafeng as i have.

Branding thought leader, author and businessman.
Dubbed "Mr Brand" by the Mail & Guardian, Thebe Ikalafeng has been recognised as one of South Africa's top 10 thinkers in marketing along with former South African State President Nelson Mandela in a survey by Ipsos Markinor. An award winning marketer and advisor, he is the founder of the 2008 Fin Week "Marketing Services Company of the Year," The Brand Leadership Group and a non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings and Foodcorp Holdings, and a member of Durban University of Technology council, Vega School of Brand Communications advisory committee, and the Sunday Times Marketing Excellence council.

A chartered marketer, Ikalafeng graduated cum laude with degrees in BSc. and MBA. from Marquette University in the USA. He has been recognised by the American Marketing Association/Marquette University with an Award for Marketing Excellence and by the Asia Brand Congress with an award for Global Brand Leadership. Passionate about brands and their relationships with people and nations, Thebe is a sought after speaker, prolific writer and consults globally on personal, political, commercial and nation branding and related matters and has addressed thousands of delegates across the world, including, Cambridge University (Uk), Barcelona (Spain), and Mumbai (India) as well as several leading African Nations.

Described as terminally stylish by the Sunday Times, he's been named the best dressed man in South Africa by Fairlady, one of the top 5 best dressed men by GQ Magazine and one of the 40 Most Stylish South Africans by Style Magazine.

"Thebe is inspirational", Chris Donegan - DTC, UK (De Beers Group)

"One of South Africa's most reputable marketers", Top Billing

"Mr Brand", Mail & Guardian

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mobile Social Ventures

Check out this SlideShare Presentation - i think this is an interesting presentation on access and usage of mobile phones in the Bottom of the Pyramid.