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#WomensMonth: Training and mentorship is crucial for entrepreneurs, Sharon Mashishi

Sharon Mashishi, started her 100% Black-, youth- and female-owned engineering firm, Bahlaping Mash Trading, just over a year ago when she saw opportunities to provide services to companies in her mining town.
Sharon Mashishi, director, Bahlaping Mash Trading
Sharon Mashishi, director, Bahlaping Mash Trading

"To build resilience as an entrepreneur, you must have good support – not just financially, but through training and mentorship as well," she says.

Looking to firmly establish and grow her business, she joined Anglo American Zimele’s enterprise development programme, where she was mentored on using a business model canvas, affording her the opportunity to reengineer her business in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and develop an alternative model to drive the growth of her business.

Making a difference

After being onboarded as a supplier to Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena mine, Bahlaping secured a three-year joint venture contract for pit reticulation services at the operation. Since securing this contract, the company has grown rapidly to 63 employees from the local community, and now provides additional products and services such as trusses, reflective poles and transport services.

“The training, guidance and support provided to me has made all the difference to my business. It has given me the opportunity to find a suitable joint venture partner through market linkages, where suppliers get introduced to each other for possible partnerships,” Mashishi says.

“This partnership has been extremely helpful in achieving my goal of making a long-term difference in my community through providing employment. My JV partner provides critical technical support and capacity-building that allows us to execute on our contract with the mine.”

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