Growing township entrepreneurship

Bulelani chats to us about his ambitious and much needed dream to grow township entrepreneurship.


We chat to public speaker and chairman of the Township Entrepreneurs Alliance, Bulelani Balabala, to find out more about his chosen career. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana

I was born and bred in Tembisa in the East Rand, Gauteng. Growing up in this vibrant township made me street-smart; it also contributed to the flair and passion I have for entrepreneurship and sales. Life was not easy, but I’m grateful that my single mother managed to provide for me with the little that she had. The hard times I faced made me who I am.

My career paths are all about positively impacting people’s lives. Entrepreneurship is important because it allows me to express my creativity, and provide a better life for my family and community. I also love it because I get to improve the local economy. Public speaking grants me the opportunity to impact lives in a positive light while also encouraging and educating other entrepreneurs

The objectives of Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA) are to help entrepreneurs to access markets and information.  The organisation hosts business workshops around townships across the country, with the aim of facilitating dialogue with government, the corporate sector and communities in the development of youth entrepreneurship. We have directly impacted over 7 000 entrepreneurs and 20 000 high school students. We hope to continue growing.

TEA will be hosting the fourth annual Township Business Innovation Summit in November. For the first time this year, the summit will take place over two days. Entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to take part in master development sessions where they will learn about sales, marketing, funding and other important subjects. A line-up of speakers and attendees will get a chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, with the chance to win great prizes. I urge business-minded people to attend the summit because it will be worth their time.

I believe that we all need to start with what we have. One of the biggest lies you could ever tell yourself is that you need to wait for the right time. Don’t wait; get started now. Everyone was born to be great, and the only way to access this is through hard work, consistency and focus as well as by ensuring that you get things done.

  • The fourth annual Township Business Innovation Summit 2018 will take place in Tembisa from 16 to 17 November. Ticket are available here

SEE ALSO: Meet Luvuyo Jongile- founder of proudly African Mayine Gin