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Business is more than just buying and selling: Zinhle’s path to financial freedom

A TCB Resell Testimonial

by Tia

Zinhle Khanyile (42), from Durban, loved clothes and would buy used clothes from her friends and family to sell. However, without knowing how to manage a business she never had any savings and struggled to pay her two children’s school fees.

“I was just working to put food on the table,” says Zinhle. “One day I met a lady selling very nice clothing and I asked her where she got them. She told me about Taking Care of Business (TCB), so I applied and was accepted. I thought I was coming to TCB to buy clothes and go out and sell; only to find that TCB had so much more in store for me. I learnt a lot in terms of how to run a business and what it takes to be a businesswoman.”

Zinhle recently completed the two-year Resell programme, where women are taught the business, trading and life skills they need to be resilient, successful self-employed clothing traders. Over the two years, they are exposed to more than 1000 hours of practical training and support, covering money management and business, computer and life skills. They also have mentoring and counselling to help them deal with personal and family issues. Zinhle says, “It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.” 

Managing finances is one of the most important skills traders learn at TCB and like many others, this was Zinhle’s weakness. “I was trained on how to manage my business and how to save. I have never saved in my life, even though I had been working for 15 years and been in good positions earning good money before; I never had any savings. At TCB they instilled in our minds to save, save, save. That was my biggest achievement,” she says. 

With her savings, Zinhle was able to pay off both her children’s school fees debt. “My daughters are in high school now. This year I even managed to pay a deposit and 10% towards the school fees at the start of the year!” 

Zinhle also learnt that it was important to have a goal. “Life is not easy, but you need to have a vision and an idea of why you are here. If you don’t, you won’t have anything to drive you and no direction to what you are working towards,” she says.

“When I started buying from TCB I was shocked, for the first three months I did really well. I saw an opportunity for a permanent space to sell my stock and now I have my own shop. At first, I was sceptical, wondering if I was going to be able to pay the rent for this space. Amazingly, I made the rent in the first week and the rest was mostly my profit. I also sell at many different flea markets and car boot sales.

“When I was creating my vision for my shop, I thought about how my shop could be different. In my area, there are a lot of student residences, and I knew this would be a good market to focus on. They want a new look for campus every day, so I look for new and different stock for them.”

Now, Zinhle has two shops, her husband as her support system to oversee everything and she employs two women to help her. “Before TCB, I wanted to do everything on my own because I wanted things my own way. At TCB they told us that you can’t do it all by yourself. Once I went through all the TCB classes, I saw that I needed someone to assist me so that I could manage the business and be focused. I needed to manage stock, attend classes, look after my children and have a personal life too. I couldn’t do everything on my own. Now I employ two ladies who assist me permanently, helping me manage my shops. It is great that I get to help other women make an income and be independent,” she says.

www.tcb.org.za

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