Mphile Mbuyazi joined SaveAct in 2020 because she saw local savings group members who were doing big things, things she wanted to do, and everyone around her kept encouraging her to join.
Her success has been astonishing! With access to saving group (SG) loans she has shown a knack for spotting business opportunities and turning them into successful ventures.
Mbuyazi, who lives near Eshowe, joined for both herself and on behalf of her mother. She belongs to two groups, and uses them for loans mostly, for her businesses. She always makes sure to pay back before the three months given for repayments.
Mbuyazi started multiple businesses in 2021. She took a loan from her savings group in March to start the first business, using it to buy perfume stock. “It was the easiest entrepreneurial path to start,” she said about selling perfume. She has someone in Durban go to a supplier to buy them and take them to the taxi rank, and the goods are transported to Eshowe by taxi.
She buys 20 perfumes at a time for R1 100 a batch, selling each perfume for R100 and making R900 profit. She also sells body lotions and soaps to go with the perfumes.
Her second business venture did not go as smoothly. Mbuyazi saw a demand for egg-laying chickens in the community and bought some with a loan from her SG, but people kept stealing the birds, so she stopped. “I sold them off. I’ll pick it back up again after I build a proper, secure chicken coop,” she said.
She then saw a need for stoep polish and used yet another SG loan to buy her first batch of stock. At first, she bought polish from a supplier, but customers constantly complained about the quality so she started looking at other options. She found a group on Facebook where someone who was part of another SG was teaching others how to make polish from scratch. The teacher put her in touch with a chemical supplier, and with another loan Mbuyazi bought chemicals for R2800 that would provide a year’s supply of polish.
In addition to that, she bought other products for the polish business, including buckets and containers to put her polish into, to sell. She made the first batch, tested it, saw that it was good, and then started selling it. She marketed the business around her community, in Eshowe and on Facebook. Her customer base grew, and soon she started getting bigger orders from resellers in town, who wanted 20kg buckets instead of just the small 1L/ 2L containers of polish.
She started transporting 20kg buckets to town and got a partner there from her SG to do the selling on that side, whilst she continues selling from home. Depending on the month, she can sell up to 15 20kg buckets of polish, at R850-00 each.
“I sell out quite fast during busy months. It doesn’t matter how much I make in some months; it never seems to be enough!” she said. Her monthly expenses are covered by selling just two 20kg buckets.
Mbuyazi is also toying with the idea of selling pot shiner. She did market research by posting on Facebook that she was selling this project and got “so many requests and comments on the post”.
She has tested the waters with a small batch couriered from Johannesburg and made a tidy profit. Although she is still testing the authenticity of the Facebook requests, Mbuyazi sold all her stock, and says multiple other people have asked her for the pot shiner since then.
Mbuyazi currently uses her multiple income streams to buy groceries at home and to put money into savings. Money is also spent on buying seedlings for the family’s vegetable garden, which she hopes to turn into another source of income soon
She used her first share-out in 2020 to build a rondavel at her home, and with her second share-out in 2021 she built herself a bachelor flat. She will use 2022 savings to install kitchen cabinetry in the family kitchen and a wardrobe in her mother’s room, plus pay her debts.
“I found a guy for the cabinetry a long time ago, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. After that, I’ll focus on installs for my bachelor flat” she said.