At the young age of just 15, Itumeleng started her very first informal business based in Soweto, Orlando West. When she was still a student in varsity, she saw an opportunity to implement some new digital marketing and advertising strategies that she was busy learning that could assist some of the businesses in her community. On that foundation we fast-forward to 2015 where she formally registered her business. Something About Francis, a 100% youth and Black female-owned entity that has seen exponential growth. They now offer their clients a range of digital media services including implementing online campaigns and advertising, social media marketing, brand management, digital marketing strategies and more.
Something about Francis joined the Saica Enterprise Development (Saica Ed) Flagship programme in 2022. This is a 6-month programme that started on 1 March 2022 and will conclude on 31 August 2022. The programme cohort empowers 32 SMMEs who are each allocated a business and finance coach to work on a one-on-one basis.The coaches on this programme work on a volunteer basis and most of them are qualified CA(SA)s. The focus of this programme is to ensure that SMEs (small and medium enterprises) understand the importance of having good financial management practices implemented in their businesses and how to use the information presented in their financials for better decision making. As a value-add to the coaching programme, Saica Ed also hosts 1–2 workshops per month on specialised topics by experts in the business industry.
Itumeleng explains that the reason she decided to join the Saica Ed Flagship programme was because she felt it was time for her to elevate her business. She realised that to get to the next level, she needed a different type of skillset and more strategic support. “The programme is my first step towards capacitating myself as a business owner and acknowledging that I need support and greater access to opportunities, information and markets,” she adds.
Itumeleng gives praise to her business coach and says: “My coach on the programme has been the biggest benefit and a highlight of the programme. She has been a great source of inspiration, advice and immediately implementable ideas and strategies for my business. She has been able to push me toward achieving my personal and business goals while understanding me as an individual.”
Nolukhanyo Makuni, Itumeleng’s mentor shared a few words about her: “She is quite open-minded about the challenges she faces which makes her easier to work with. As we explore possible causes and solutions, she does contribute as she needs to take ownership of the final decision for her business and implement it.”
“For me, youth month is a reminder of what is possible for me as a young Black woman, however it also highlights difficulties that young Black people face every day. With more than 50% of young people being unemployed and the socio-economic challenges I think youth month is less of a celebration but more of a rally call to do my best to change the lives of the people around me as much as possible,” comments Itumeleng.
So, what does the future look like? From here on, Itumeleng plans to build generational brands and businesses that will outlive her and continue to impact the lives of more young people all over the world. More than anything she wants to build an impactful agency that helps other brands and businesses grow and thrive.
Saica Ed is proud for the active role we get to play in building the legacy Itumeleng dreams of. With the collaboration and support of Corporate SA, we thrive to keep on supporting more and more young entrepreneurs each year.