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#EntrepreneurMonth: Chantelle Goliath on her humble beginnings, her road to glory

Born and raised in Klipfontein, Chantelle Goliath went from cleaning other people's homes to becoming a businesswoman and entrepreneur who owns an import and export company - Milli Distributions.
Chantelle Goliath, founder of Milli Distributions. Image supplied.
Chantelle Goliath, founder of Milli Distributions. Image supplied.

Goliath also heads up New Heritage Foundation in the Western Cape, which provides remodelled, clean and healthy infrastructures and enhance the internal and external aesthetics for learning environments like educare centres and primary schools.

We caught up with her and asked her to tell us more about her journey and what it took to start her own business. She also tells us more about the Glory Pad, which Milli Distributions imports and distributes, and elaborates on her involvement with the New Heritage Foundation.

BizcommunityPlease tell us more about yourself and what it is you do.

My name is Chantelle Goliath. I come from a very small community, Klipfontein Mission Station, next to the Cape Town International Airport. I lived there until the age of 15 as I moved away from my dad and stepmom to live with my real mom in Lansdowne. I grew up very poor with not many resources. I am the middle child of five children. I am a mom of three daughters and a wife to the most amazing husband my best friend. And I am of Christian faith.

BizcommunityHow and when did you get started?

I started my business journey at the age of 11 – could even be younger – I remember cleaning people's homes or going to the shops for them and they would pay me. After I got married, I would start a business every month and every time it would fail miserably, but the next day I would be back planning yet another business.

My current business, Milli Distributions, journey started a year and seven months ago. I was invited to a networking event in 2017 and met Hyasintha Ntuyeko from Tanzania, the founder and designer of the Glory Pad – which will be arriving this month in South Africa. Early in 2018, I flew to Johannesburg to cement our partnership and April, that same year, Milli Distributions was registered.

BizcommunityWhat is the core function of Milli Distributions?

We are the sole distributors of the Glory Pad and currently also adding more organic products to our portfolio. We do imports and export these products and others.

BizcommunityTell us more about the Glory Pad.

The Glory Pad is the first of its kind on the market. Both the pad and packaging is biodegradable, free from chemicals and perfumes, embossed with charcoal, made with 100% natural cotton, reducing menstrual cramps, odour removal, always keeps you dry. This product is what women been waiting for all their lives!

BizcommunityWhat is the New Heritage Foundation about?

Along with key corporate partnerships, community involvement and local volunteers, we plan, facilitate and implement short-term aesthetical remodelling, repairs and maintenance projects to improve the structure or assist in the maintenance of facilities.

The main beneficiaries are educare centres and primary schools in marginalised communities.

In addition to these just children and youth, this flows over into their homes, families and greater communities.

BizcommunityWhat are some of the challenges you've encountered as an entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them?

One of my biggest challenges was funding! I was declined thrice by government institutions and for any other government institutions, my business did not qualify. I kept going and believing and applying until Absa Bank assisted but did so much more – they partnered.

The other part was getting retailers on board to stock my product and this was out of my comfort zone and an industry unknown to me but I kept calling and going and now have a purchase order from a reputable retailer and a few smaller outlets to have our product in.

BizcommunityWhat have been your proudest achievements thus far?

I spoke of having an imports business, six years ago, and even went to apply for the licence but could not get it. Now, we do and to have our product come into South Africa is a proud moment for both me and my family because they understand my journey. And to see it available in stores and online will be yet another proud moment for me.

BizcommunityWould you encourage someone to become an entrepreneur?

YES! My daughters included.

BizcommunityWhere do you see your business in five years' time?

Five years from now, I would love to manufacture locally – creating 1,000 or more job opportunities within South Africa.

BizcommunityWhat do you believe are the traits an entrepreneur needs in order to succeed?

Never give up, keep going! If it does not work out that moment, rest if you must but don’t quit. Perseverance is key; believe in yourself and your business.

For more information about New Heritage Foundation, click here and for information about Milli Distributions, click here.

About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.
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