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Bonang Mohale, Chairperson of the Bidvest Group, and former CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has been appointed Chancellor of the University of the Free State – he will take up his new role on 4 June, for a five-year term, succeeding Dr Khotso Mokhele whose tenure comes to an end on 3 June.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson of the Bidvest Group, and former CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has been appointed Chancellor of the University of the Free State – he will take up his new role on 4 June, for a five-year term, succeeding Dr Khotso Mokhele whose tenure comes to an end on 3 June.

“The Council is proud that Mohale will be fulfilling the role of titular head of the university,” – Dr Willem Louw, Chairperson of the UFS Council.

A business leader of stature, Bonang Mohale played a crucial role in the 2018 Job Summit, which resulted in R290- billion’s worth of investment being raised and while CEO of BLSA, he played a pivotal role in launching the SA SME Fund, Youth Employment Services and BLSA Connect programmes.

We asked him what advice he has for entrepreneurs.

Bonang Mohale shares five tips for aspiring business leaders:

  1. So first and foremost if you are an aspiring business person before you worry about finance. I would say develop a product or service that the world needs so that you can name your price. In other words, fulfil an existing need.

 

  1. Secondly you need to have access to the value chain of companies – like the members of BLSA – because that’s where at least 40 percent of the economic value and utility is concentrated.

 

  1. Thirdly of course you need a sellable and sustainable idea that the banks will be able to fund. If you are thinking of scaling up, but first and foremost you have a brilliant idea. It doesn’t matter where you do it from – whether it’s from the garage, an old RDP house or you’re simply peddling your wealth from the boot of your car.

 

  1. It helps to know the difference between income and cash – so that the money that you make belongs to the business not necessarily to you, yourself, I, because you need to invest for growth, reinvest for jobs, reinvest for scaling up, because most small and medium enterprises do not scale. And even some of the companies that are founder companies which are founder managed do not necessarily scale because all of us get married to the things that we’ve created we don’t want to let go.

 

  1. So when you do grow let go. Go and get yourself an absolute professional who’s passionate about what you do and see your business develop.
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