• Martin Kristiansen

How long have you been in business?

I officially started my business on spring day, 1st September 1998. It was freezing cold and everything that could go wrong went wrong, and a few things besides. I went home that evening, after an 18 hour day, depressed and convinced that I had made the mistake of my life.

Things got better of course, its been almost 21 years now and while I have made a lot of mistakes I must have done a few things right. After all I am still in business.

I bet every business owner big or small has a story. How about the woman featured in the photo below? Want to guess how long she has been in business? How about 24 years. Yep, for 24 years, 5 days a week, she has been using public transport to get to a factory in Olifantsfontein where she sets up her pots under a tree and makes food. I chatted to some of her clients and she is clearly well liked and respected. She tells me business is good and she is happy. It can't be easy, there must be a many challenges, but she is happy, and she has been at it for 24 years. That deserves respect.

Fast food.  Informal economy.
This is what a successful business woman looks like.


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