“I aspire to become the best woman and I can be with the biggest lifestyle brand in the country, housing magazines, clothing, events management, book publishing and the list is endless,” says Nokuthula Isabel Mnisi, a 27-year old business woman from Mbombela, in Mpumalanga.
Mnisi is the founder of Kolour Lifestyle, a company which she describes as vibrant a new media company that wishes to establish itself in the media and communications space in a great way. According to Mnisi, she started the company in 2014 and her first project was a women’s empowerment event, she says the company has since grown and it now features an online magazine, event management, and clothing.
“Kolour is a lifestyle brand that not only focuses on constantly improving itself but also its clients through its excellent and detail oriented service delivery. We not only look to grow ourselves but also to become the catalyst for the growth of our clients through creative, innovative and efficient services. At the moment Kolour is focusing on three divisions, namely, public relations, event management, and tailor-made clothing. We also pride ourselves in supporting and empowering young women which is a cause very close to our hearts” said Mnisi.
According to Mnisi, she came across challenges like lack of funding, lack of sufficient capital, lack of adequate knowledge of where to source that assistance and which places to go to. She says she ran the online magazine for five months, from her pocket but had to stop because it wasn’t making any profit. She says lack of support is one of the things killing young black businesses in the province.
She says she had to redirect and keep on doing what is bringing in money, which was events and clothing. She says she has n’t overcome the challenges yet but she has learned from those failures and will now be able to do things differently and correctly. She also added that she is still running a very small business but she has aspirations and ambitions and a vision and it will grow, she is positive about that.
Mnisi says she feels that the government is doing enough to assist young entrepreneurs and to encourage young people to take the entrepreneurship route because in the past few years they have really improved structures that assist youth in business. She says the government is also making sure that those facilities and structures and organizations go to the people or are communicated effectively with the relevant people, which is the youth.
She says 4 out of 10 youth know about some funds and organizations that are available to them for assistance. She also says she has seen a huge improvement in the past 3 years with the government making assistance available to youth in business.
“Research, research, research. that’s the best way they can make correct decisions and know where to go and how to go about doing things and where to knock and so forth. Knowing your market and how saturated it is, where there is a lack and where there is an overkill of services and what you can do to fill the gap is important in starting and running a business” says Mnisi as an advice to young people wishing to follow the entrepreneurship route.
She also added that she would like to see her brand on a 40 floor building, with all of the divisions and departments inside in about 3 or 4 countries, employing and empowering as many young, black people as possible, because as much as we build businesses for ourselves and for our goals, they are there also to help empower others as well.
According to Mnisi, Kolour has been involved in many youth development and empowerment programs since it started which is one of its ways of helping young people and bringing about change in its community. She says Success Stories Unlimited (SSU) is one of Kolour’s CSI projects. Mnisi told Bushbuckridge News that SSU is a Non-profit organization which was running seminars and programs that develop the youth through career development and also through empowerment of information of entrepreneurship and so forth.
She says recently Kolour has also adopted the Reshen Legacy foundation, which is a Non- Profit that focuses on developing arts, more especially music and performing arts. She says they are currently busy with an event that is set to be on the 27th of October at Mbombela Stadium, called the Fashion, Arts and Music Festival, and that they offer their services to these programs and assist in event management, planning as well as public relations and marketing.