Gauteng Funding,Skills and Jobs Expo a success

Hosts of the Gauteng Funding, Skills and Jobs Expo Mrs Nthabi Montsho-Mngoma and Mzi Mngoma

The Mngoma Empowerment Group hosted their annual expo aimed at exposing people across Gauteng to opportunities in employment, entrepreneurship and skills development. This year, founder and organizer, Mzi Mngoma decided to hold a three day event from Thursday to Saturday (October 27-29).

On Thursday, October 27, the expo opened its doors to the people of Gauteng who came from as far as Thembisa and the Vaal. The first day was led by award winning media personality Tholang Lebelo. The Ionian Youth Orchestra from Soweto led by Linda Mngoma started the proceedings with great songs.

This was followed by the welcoming address by hosts, the ‘power couple’ Nthabi Nonjabulo Montsho-Mngoma and Mzi Mngoma. They shared the purpose of the event and how it has grown since its humble beginnings back in 2016.

Mish Tshabalala was the first speaker of the Gauteng Funding, Skills and Jobs Expo. He is a retired education director, working at the Gauteng Department of Education as a Chief Education Specialist in Human Resources Management and Training.

He spoke on the current employment environment and its significant changes due to digital technology and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tshabalala unpacked valuable insights from his experience as a Human Resources Director, encouraging the job seeking guests to be flexible and innovative.

Tshabalala explained that job seekers must start to adapt to the present climate. People must start to not only be flexible, but also adopt abilities and skills to remain relevant in the job market.

Thando Sheila Maumela, business coach/presenter and entrepreneur, runs her own businesses in various sectors like construction, media and skills development.

She shared her story with the expo guests, while leaving some valuable ideas and thoughts on the how people can become successful.

  • have a vision that makes you wake up in the morning and aligns to your dreams
  • draw a vision board to have a visual poster of what you want to achieve
  • Work on your confidence. Your confidence in your skills and talents will build your future
  • open up your mind to learning always, read and watch things that will build you
  • work, work, work! Get on the ground and get your hands dirty

Dr Esther Lusenga spoke about how the pandemic caused her daughter to lose her job.

  • don’t let other people determine your future with their opinions
  • you can do anything you put your mind towards
  • If you know what you want in life you’ll get it

Dr Lusenga spoke to parents and advised them to be innovative in raising funds for their childrens’ schools. Here’s a couple of tips she shared for parents involved in their children’s schools as SGB members:

– Kids can pay a little for not wearing uniform on special days (Valentines Day, Career Day etc)

– A raffle can be held on AGM parents meetings where a supplier of the school sponsors the prizes

Lesego Sennelo CA(SA) shared her advise to small business owners about the ways small business owners can approach big companies for funding opportunities. She also emphasized that people need to use the resources they have at their disposal to improve their lives and earn a living.

  • Use your smartphone to educate yourself
  • Having multiple streams of income is a necessity
  • Show funders how you’ll add value or how your funders will benefit
  • Build a strong network as funders are people too. It’s all about relationships. You must be known to get your foot in the door.
  • Read your potential funders annual report, this will show where their focus is and understand what projects they’re likely to fund
  • There’s no harm in asking for a meeting to get more information on what your funder requiresHold yourself accountable and follow uo
  • Match your proposal to your funders business case or their pain points
  • Don’t assume you’ll get it right the first time. Learn what not to do and try again.
  • Upon rejection, ask for a recommendation. This applies to sales, job interviews and more.

Sennelo helped an organization to grow and get funding for their projects. She learnt it after her first proposal was rejected.

The last speaker of the day, Mr Dali Ramncwana from SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) unpacked the various programmes for small businesses. He elaborated that SEDA helps people build a business from the ground up. The agency is a division of the Department of Small Business Department, aimed at assisting entrepreneurs until their businesses are operational and sustainable.

Ramncwana strongly spoke on the state of Cooperatives in the country and encouraged guests to utilize SEDA services to get support in training their members to avoid infighting and other problems that they can encounter. He also called on cooperatives to apply for funding as it is available.

On day 2, MC Dj King Maloyer – Radio and TV presenter, producer shared his life story of pursuing his dream despite negative influences and poverty. He urged parents to pray and support their children’s passions from an early age. Growing up, his passion was not supported by his family. This did not deter him from getting his voice on the airwaves.

Today, he is a professional producer and has worked closely with most his role-models. He’s also set to appear on our screens as a lead character in a new drama series.

Nthabi Montsho-Mngoma, an accomplished author, entrepreneur and co-host shared her experience living as a victim of domestic abuse and gender-based violence. She encouraged women to not fall into the cultural stereotypes that restrict someone to speak out when they abused at home. She also shared her harrowing road to recovery, leaving an abusive relationship and starting over with nothing.

Vusi Makhoba – Urban Farming Specialist and entrepreneur shared how people can use the power of Cooperatives to live in prosperity. He said many people underestimate the real market for co-ops, especially in finding opportunities. He also detailed how people can enter the space with their families.

Dr Vivian Mokome, an young accomplished business leader shared her story of inspiration to the youth in attendance.

Dr Mokome tipped young people to be their own CV and define their destiny. She said that graduates must understand that opportunities will not come to them just because they completed their studies. She advised them that they should start selling in order to build their income and get moving in the direction of their goals, as there’s no savior coming to help them.

“Never spite your small beginnings,” she said.

Palesa Mojapelo, an Early Childhood Development (ECD) schools owner and facilitator, took time to share how anybody can be part of the growing industry of educating children. She said that the ECD school in the townships can be as successful as their suburban counterparts.

Thando Makhubu, owner of Soweto Creamery, explained his extraordinary journey from not knowing what to do after school and living as an unemployed youth, all the way to owning a thriving enterprise using his network and the power of social media marketing.

Palesa Kambule, in her capacity as the vice-president of the Soweto Business Forum, unpacked the opportunities that are available for startup businesses and those who don’t have resources to start. She said the forum needs women and young people in particular to get on board and join. There are also funding opportunities for innovation projects in the City that she has earmarked for the community of Soweto.

Martin Manamela, author and acclaimed speaker of note, inspired the audience gathered as the final speaker of the day. He shared how anybody can rewrite their story, moving them from a Great Mess to Greatness.

“I used to look for money until I realized that I am the currency,” he said to the attentive audience.

Manamela spoke highly of the importance of being your own brand and how people can become their best self by taking their thoughts and words seriously.

Saving the best for last, Dr Benjani Chauke, Presidential Envoy and Advisor to our Head of State, came to share his words of wisdom with the attendees. He showed his interest in assisting those who are in need of opportunities to empower themselves and their communities. He urged guests not to be apologetic for being prosperous as they’re allowed to be anything they want to be.

The third and final day of the 2022 Gauteng Funding Skills and Jobs Expo was an awesome event, filled with inspirational messages and valuable ideas for our local opportunity seekers.

On Saturday, October 29, the last day of the expo featured the following speakers on the day.

Zamokuhle Khathide – a young Dj, Entrepreneur, music producer and programmer. He spoke about his journey growing up in Diepkloof and persuing his dreams despite living with a disability.

He told the audience that it’s important to never give up, no matter what difficult circumstances they may face along the way. Khathide also shared his plans to manufacture his own cooking oil, as the demand and priced have risen and there’s not many local producers of the essential household item. As a Dj, he set up and operated the sound system for the expo.

The third day of the Gauteng Funding Skills and Jobs Expo had two MCs, the duo from the Vaal in the Sedibeng District. Pastors Themba Kankola and Thabo Montecristo Xaba (Hope FM Presenter). Each of them had a chance to share their stories and reminded the people in attendance of the various opportunities to choose from.

Coach and senior pastor Dr Abel Dube, delivered words of inspiration to the local audience and assured them that if they put the Lord first in all they do, they will surely prosper. “Nothing happens by accident. You coming today was destined for you and I believe God is up to something,” he said.

Exhibitors also got a chance on stage to explain their programs during the expo.
Organizations exhibiting were: Tshepo 1 Million, Makwakwa Training Centre, Gift Ya Lerato Foundation, NYDA (National Youth Development Agency), Binance Ekasi, DMT Training Centre, Green Business College, GROW, Sopema Funeral Services, SA Youth, NEF (National Empowerment Fund), Camblish College, City of Joburg, National Development Agency, Harambee GEP (Gauteng Enterprise Propeller) and Department of Employment and Labor.

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