Varonique Philander is a vibrant young lady with, as she says, “ambitious dreams”. She’s a lawyer, with her own company, Chaya Legal, focussed on legal assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

I had the great privilege of participating in Veronique’s fortnight-long entrepreneurship accelerator programme, Take the Leap to Launch. Young entrepreneurs were provided with multiple tools, and assisted, to start the process of deciding on a business idea, and, now implementing that idea. All free of charge, and with the assistance of a number of people like myself sharing their specific areas of expertise.

Graduation was held yesterday – via a virtual platform. Hats off to Varonique for still making the occasion exciting and very definitely celebratory.

It was fabulous to hear from each inspired entrepreneur on the programme (who will now be mentored along their journeys).

Steve Reid was the guest speaker. You couldn’t have chosen better, Varonique. ☺ Steve has years of experience in the entrepreneurship arena under his belt, and is currently the CEO of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the False Bay TVET College, and author of Entreprenacity: Developing True Grit as an Entrepreneur”.

As motivational and inspiring as Steve was, he carefully reminded all of us of the difficult journey that entrepreneurship is, and of the high failure rate.  Only 4% of small businesses that were created 10 years ago are still in existence. Steve shared this list of top characteristics an entrepreneur should possess in order to aim for success:
• Dedication
• Gratitude
• Leadership
• Passion for learning
• Resilience
• Responsibility
• Inherently creative
• Passionate and positive
• Unafraid of risk, unafraid of success

Hats off to you, Varonique, for this fabulous initiative. May you, and the entrepreneurial journey you are supporting, thrive.