Business & Economy

Monday, 01 June 2020 11:59

Old Mutual Helps Manager Make The Jump From Employee To Owner

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Old Mutual’s 175th anniversary is an opportunity for us to reflect and remind people about the importance of having a trusted financial partner that enables them to be their exceptional best and do great things.

Take Gabriel Mhlamvu, a store manager who was assisted by Old Mutual’s Sibusiso Mnguni, a Franchise Investment Associate at Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund, to acquire the store he worked for, Donnybrook Spar in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Spar stores are independently owned and operated retailers and wholesalers that work together in partnership under the Spar brand.

Sibusiso assisted Gabriel to go from being a hard-working employee of Donnybrook Spar to being its proud owner. In collaboration with KZN Spar Managing Director Max Oliver and his team and the Old Mutual Masisizane Fund, Sibusiso was able to make sure Gabriel was given access to a financial loan, as well as essential financial mentorship, entrepreneurship guidance and SMME capacity development.

Entrepreneurs from disadvantaged and under-represented groups such as black women often face greater hurdles in accessing financing. It is one of the focus areas of Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund. Preference is given to enterprises with 51% plus ownership by women, youth or people with disabilities. The Masisizane Fund understands that besides financing, entrepreneurs, especially those in rural areas, also need sound advice on managing capital and overdrafts, and basic business knowledge. Most traditional lenders cannot fulfil this critical role for entrepreneurs who are starting out.

According to Gabriel, Old Mutual not only paved his entrepreneurial journey and supported his dream, it also contributed indirectly to generating much needed employment in KZN. In less than two years, Donnybrook Spar’s staff component increased from 54 employees to 88.

The learnings from the many meetings with Old Mutual and the broader team have also influenced the trajectory of the store, making it one of the best in Spar’s fold.

Gabriel is confident that the business skills he gained from his relationship with Old Mutual have placed him and his employees on a firm growth path.

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