Today on TEF Alumni Corner, we discuss with one of our entrepreneurs from South Africa, Rosharon Morgan who is an avid engineering practitioner and teacher looking to empower the growing unemployed labour force technically from community to community.
Q: Can you tell us about your business?
A: I am the director of an engineering artisan school business called Galel Training and Development Pty Ltd. Our focus is on welding.
Q: What inspired your business and how old is it now?
A: I work in the engineering space and as an engineer, no matter where I go to, the lack of technical artisans has always been a challenge to me. I also work in an area that has a high unemployment rate so the idea was to equip communities to meet industry needs while empowering themselves for the future. The business was established in 2015.
Q: What makes your business stand out from all other businesses within your niche industry?
A: Well, I’m situated in the feed market which gives me close access to students and possible employees and I also have a team of facilitators and mentors that have over 40 years of experience in the industry. I am an Engineer myself and understand industrial technical requirements including quality and compliance. I work with an engineering firm that has networks and contacts with big industry players and its growth requirements. I also have passion for education as well and teaching.
Q: When did you become a Tony Elumelu entrepreneur and how has it helped your business?
A: I was part of the 2021 cohort and it helped me structure my business to play greater strategic role in my environment. It also helped me adopt quality and collaboration as core principles of my business. I learnt a lesson to look at challenges, conversations, projects from various sides before approaching for a solution. So many nationalities, time zones with various belief systems and different languages meant people viewed the world different, approached problems different and communicated differently. No approach should be linear or singular.
Q: After training and mentorship from the TEF Entrepreneurship programme, how has your operational model changed?
A: Not much. I am still keeping it mostly outsourced. As I scale, it will change to include more internal expertise.
Q: How many steps ahead would you say the TEF seed funding helped you get to on scale of 1-10?
A: 5! I was to address at least 50% of a project I am embarking on and I am looking to build a remote container training centre. I have been able to pay for some of the required items.
Q: How do you market your business and which methods have been most successful since completing the TEF training and mentorship programme?
A: Mostly through social media, local buildings such as libraries, shop notice boards, reaching out to networks through phone and email. I also join sectoral bodies and go to networking events.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face as an entrepreneur in your operational environment?
A: One challenge I face is getting a continuous flow of paying clients and keeping up to date with regulatory requirements
Q: What are some of the solutions you might suggest to help solve these challenges?
A: I have started targeting schools in communities since a large portion of my target market is school leavers and I have also joined various government work groups that helps one keep abreast of regulatory changes.
Q: As you know, the core of the TEF entrepreneurship programme is to promote Africapitalism, how has your business been able to make an impact in that light?
A: I make the conscious effort to ensure that more than 80% of my business interactions e.g., suppliers etc. are of the African continent. I also collaborate as much as accessible with African thought leaders.
Q: If you had a chance to start your entrepreneurship journey all over again, what would you do differently?
A: In hindsight no. But if I had to choose, I would say, choose my partnerships well, ask more questions, be firm on what I want, negotiate properly and be more patient.
~ Author: Derek Nwankwo