Terrens Mokono, an entrepreneur operating a communications and marketing business from Pretoria, scooped one of the top three spots in the inaugural Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) National Enterprise Development Award.
For his ventures in a company called MTM Media, Mokono was named the Best Performing Company (based on profit generated and net asset value) within the participants of SBU, a business incubation program.
SBU is a nonprofit establishment initiated by Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment vehicle Shanduka Group. The SBU Enterprise Development Awards were designed to reward those businesses the programme which are making a difference and creating employment. Earlier this year regional awards were made at SBU’s four business incubators in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The regional winners then competed for these national awards. The top spot was claimed by Ntlokolo Joseph Madingwaneng who runs another Pretoria based entity Moyeng Engineering SA. Another category, Best SBU Ambassador, was won by Hlengiwe Majola who runs a Durban based security company Gebhuza Security.
For his part Mokono who hails from Makado in Limpopo was recognized for one of the most essentials of doing business, return on assets.
Mokono’s company, MTM Media, is an integrated marketing and media firm which has grown leaps and bounds. The father of two noted it was a serious challenge to launch a business without startup capital. “I had to strive so hard to get my first deal and then when I got it I realised I didn’t have the capital to deliver on the project. The only way I was able to overcome this challenge was to focus on service orientated deals whereby you don’t have an initial heavy financial outlay”.
He says his inspiration comes from his aunt who was the only person with a job and who supported the extended family and put them through school.
As such, one of his main focus in life is to help uplift his community and give something back to the community.
He declared that one of his heroes is Cyril Ramaphosa whom, he believes, has worked hard in order to give back to the community and he is keen to emulate him.
“The most important reason why I am in business is to give something back to the community by encouraging the youth to get an education and to instruct others on business matters”.
Early life Makado was hard for Mokono. “In my area people liked to go to school but did not know how to explore their opportunities. I grew up in a single parent family and it was tough on my mother and my sister. Our extended family was big. My aunt supported us and helped us to get an education”.
Launched in 2005, MTM Media focuses on advertising and strategic marketing which involves coordinating events, workshops and exhibitions. At present Mokono employs seven full-time people and two interns, one of whom will eventually become a permanent staff member.
A crowning achievement last year was working on the South African Maritime Safety Authority Conference in Durban. They reached their targets which included recruiting 10 000 learners for the conference and they also highlighted the opportunities available in the maritime industry.
The company also has a contract with Baobab Foods to do their branding and they have worked with the City of Tshwane, as well.
Asked what tips he would give budding entrepreneurs, Mokono says discipline is important. He also feels being a people’s person is vital and that one must be prepared to take calculated risks.