Q&A with Bizcommunity and Janna Strang for #EntrepreneurMonth
- Talk us through the importance of entrepreneurship, particularly in SA
With the alarming numbers for unemployment in South Africa it is more crucial than ever to encourage entrepreneurship as a means of job creation.
- List a few qualities of a good entrepreneur
- Unwavering self-belief
- Awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
- Willingness to learn and adapt
- Passionate about what you are doing
- Disciplined and good work ethic
- Share your favourite lesson learned in your personal journey as an entrepreneur
Do not expect yourself to be ‘GREAT’ at all aspects of business. But recognize your strengths and weaknesses and when the time comes, surround yourself with the right people to compliment the areas you are weak in.
- Explain your career journey and list all your current ‘work roles’
After graduating from UCT with a BA double major in Media & Writing and English, I started out in Advertising as a Copywriter – convinced that it was my calling!
I loved the creativity and actual writing but felt I wasn’t drawing on my strengths as a people’s person.
So after working in agencies in Cape Town and Dublin, Ireland for six years when I eventually returned to Durban I did a year as a Copywriter working for Modern Museum and other agencies before exploring PR as a possible career path.
I worked for over two years in a Public Relations agency and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with media and clients but felt I was now missing the creative aspect that I had so loved while working in the Advertising industry.
I wanted the best of both worlds but there didn’t seem to be an agency or position that offered it. I had also realized that there was a gap in the market for companies wanting to deal with only one person/agency that handled all their communication needs.[Que brainwave followed by an excessive amount of smoke]…and in 2012 Promote Communication was open for business. A one-stop Communications agency that offers everything from a wide variety of internal and external communication service offerings, depending on our clients’ needs.
So my current role includes:
- Part-time Tea Lady
- Business Admin & Accounts
- Account Director (for all our clients)
- Media Liaison
- Marketing and brand strategist
- Events coordinator
- And Office Clown… to name a few 🙂
- Elaborate on the double-edged sword or starting a business as a female in SA
I think starting a business in SA is tough – period. I was fortunate enough to not need a lot of capital start-up and my family was very supportive along the way because there are a lot of highs and lows to navigate through – especially in the first 2 – 3 years. From a female perspective I think what is tough when compared to men starting a business are society’s high expectations of you to be equally as dedicated in your role as a wife and mother. Trying to balance the long hours that go into starting a business is already tough but add to that trying to be a devoted mom and fulfilling all your duties as a wife on the domestic front is nearly impossible. The good news is that with the right support system in place and enough dogged determination and belief – it can be done! There are so many inspiring women who are living proof of that. However, a word of warning…you will need to make sacrifices along the way and be prepared to live with those choices. But, if you love what you do and always try to give of your best – there is no better sense of achievement.