A 21-year-old Durban University of Technology (DUT) Management Accounting student and entrepreneur, Asanda Zondi has managed to have her dishwashing liquid, Siqalosisha in the shelves of one of the biggest retail stories, Spar Selgro Centre in Pietermaritzburg.

Zondi excitedly shared that she is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Spar Selgro Centre and cannot wait to supply the store with more products.

“I am grateful to have had this opportunity, access to market has been my biggest challenge since I started this journey. It took hard work, never giving up, a lot of advertising and putting myself and my business out there to make the right connections,” she added.

The young entrepreneur from Umlazi established her company, Siqalosisha in August 2021. Her company manufactures a variety of cleaning products such as bleach, dishwashing liquid, washing powder and other cleaning detergents. She highlighted that her company produces over 100 units per month and is currently operating with four employees.

She is currently incubated under the innobiz DUT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation where she is receiving a business mentorship, business compliance support, technical skills training, industry specific training, personal development and seed funding.

The DUT student explained in an interview that she has always been entrepreneurial at heart and when she saw a gap in the local market for hygiene products, she decided it was time to make her dream of having her own business a reality.

“I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship, and to provide quality hygiene products that people can use in their daily lives for maximum hygiene, to protect themselves and their families. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I saw a gap in the sector and decided to turn my idea into an existing business,” explained Zondi.

In addition, Zondi thanked her ‘Guardian Angel’, the innobiz DUT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for entrepreneurial guidance and support. Passing her words of gratitude, she said: “I went to the Centre with a vision, and they helped turn it into a reality through mentorship, business compliance, pitching support and seed funding to start, the organisation was my first chance at success in entrepreneurship.”

innobiz DUT Centre Manager, Ms Nontokozo Ngcobo congratulated Zondi, sharing her excitement at seeing the student entrepreneurs thriving despite the challenges they face daily. Moreover, she expressed that this is proof of how impactful the business incubation programme is and proof of the university’s efforts towards producing successful entrepreneurs.

“It is encouraging and exciting to see the skills and tools we provide to our students being used towards the success of their businesses, we congratulate Siqalosisha and we encourage other students as well to use their negotiation skills as entrepreneurs to accelerate their businesses. Furthermore, I would like to congratulate the team who work tirelessly to ensure our students have all the skills they need to thrive in the business world,” added Ms Ngcobo.

In the next two years, Zondi aspires to acquire a warehouse where she can mass produce her products and supply more stores nationwide. Moreover, one of her biggest aspiration is to create more employment opportunities for the youth.

Pictured: Asanda Zondi with her dishwashing liquid currently selling at Spar Selgro Centre.

Nontethelelo Mzizi