18 February 2021 Johannesburg, While providing financial and ongoing business support to hundreds of black-owned businesses in South Africa, Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund has witnessed many great partnerships blossom during its 14-year existence. In at least two instances, romance blossomed too! How do entrepreneurial business partners who are also married make sure their relationships work?
Nomthandazo and Gcobani Ntshanga own and run Spring Forest Trading, currently trading as Walker Motors in Butterworth under the Caltex franchise.
Nomthandazo left her Chief Financial Officer role at the Amathole District Municipality to pursue this franchise business. Further Fuelling the desire to run her business was previous work experience for a service station, where she was exposed to both the finances and operations of this dynamic business. Her husband, Gcobani, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the business and runs valuation consulting services as well.He believes the secret to the success of both their business and personal relationships is due to openness and honesty. ”There was never any pressure to try and be someone else or to impress each other. We have a deep bond, love and respect for each other,” he says.
Sivenathi and Buchule Sibaca are co-founders and managers of SMTAX.
Sivenathi, who is trained in actuarial science and has experience in the financial services sector, is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and co-founder of SMTAX, a digital accounting, tax and advisory company that partners with small businesses to help them grow.
She is passionate about broadening financial inclusion and is passionate about facilitating transformation of the economy. She believes strongly that technology is the lever we can all pull to achieve these aims faster.
Husband Buchule is the CEO of SMTAX. He also left a position in the corporate world to charter his own course with the idea of bringing many more along on the journey. Their joint desire to accelerate SMME development and financial inclusion is the glue that binds them together and drives their ambition to succeed.
SMTAX is geared to using digital technology to drive financial inclusion opportunities, providing help to SMMEs with online start-up services, tax compliance, accounting services as well as broader financial management and advisory services. “The benefits of working together have been enormous,” he says. “You have a loyal partner that you can trust and you have the same goals.”
Masisizane helps make business dreams come true
Helping business ventures and partnerships like these succeed is the Masisizane Fund’s core mandate. “When love is part of the mix, there are both risks and advantages,” comments Lebogang Serithi, Old Mutual Masisizane Fund CEO. “However, we work to mitigate the risks for our clients and we are delighted that in the case of the Ntshanga’s and the Sibaca’s, the advantages far outweighed the risks!”