Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? One of the most common and easiest ways to answer this question is to meet the entrepreneurs themselves.
Shirley Tshuma, who owns Picadeli, a catering company located in the capital Gaborone says there are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur.
Tshuma says one does not necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money in the bank or even business experience to start something that could become their next major success.
She cautions, however that a budding entrepreneur need a strong plan and the drive to see it through.
“I did not finish my education, as when I was doing form 4 at Molefi Senior Secondary School my parents decided to take me to study abroad, unfortunately my travel documents were not updated and when I came back to the same school they accused me of having been taken to do abortion, that is what really turned me off to finish school,” the Kanye born said.
Tshuma says before opening her catering business she worked in different restaurants and hotels such as steers, Maharaja and Oasis and at times worked 2 shifts in a day.
“I met my husband while I was still at Oasis and both of us had always had this passion to open a business. We just started this business from our salary money and sometimes borrowed equipments to the catering,’ Tshuma added.
Picadeli has to date provided catering services for over 3 years to organizations such as Botswana Football Association, BOCRA, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, African Alliance, Mascom top 10 VIPs and various government organizations.
Tshuma says they had difficulties in finding a spot for their business as they did not have any money and wish the government could make it easy for them that rent premises for business, by giving them access rather than concentrating much on theoretical part; that is believing on what is written on paper, which is done by people who have years of experience on how to manipulate figures, without those people coming to their places and asking about small businesses plans going forward.
She says she have about 10 employees even though some are unreliable as after payment, they never come back; forcing her to hire all the time.
Tshuma also mentioned that people have negative perception about White City, a location where her business is located thus there are lot of thieves around the place.
“Before getting used to the place we also thought like that too but nowadays we are accepted as one of their own and white city people are so supportive.”
However she advised people that no matter the difficulties of life they have; they need to stop blaming and relying too much on the government as they sometimes do not need government funds to open a business.
“I do not have a degree, I did not finish school but I am leaving a decent life,” Tshuma concluded unwavering.