What does your company do?
Sibanda Trading (Pty) Ltd is clothing manufacturing business established in 2017 by Tanya Sibanda. The founder developed passion for manufacturing clothing by learning from and observing her mother at a very young age. Her mother was in the same trade and had been dressing the community stylishly with her quality creations for more than 20 years. Our company produces corporate uniform's for businesses across many industries and has even attracted business from major corporations, as the company continues to grow, we will expand into and serve other markets and clients.
What is your biggest success?
My biggest achievement has got to be the year of 2020. God blessed my business amidst a deadly pandemic.
The terrifying experience of sitting at home as a student who was suppose to graduate with a nated mechanical engineering diploma at the end of 2020, going through life, depression and not knowing whether I'm coming or going I can now proudly say I finally found my purpose.
A reconfigured Sibanda Limited was born. In May I finally got out and was able to put my brand out there using social media, July I brought my first car which I now use for deliveries, in August I got selected to be apart of a mentorship program designed to change my mindset and redefine my entrepreneurial journey in a Christocentric way and 2021 brought me my big orders where by I was able to purchase more machinery and ultimately creating jobs.
What has been your biggest hurdle?
My biggest hurdle has got got to be access to funding. With a lack of venture capitalists in South Africa and grant programs that are designed for an average SMME entrepreneur not to receive funding as well as banks labelling clothing manufacturing businesses risky, it has proven difficult to get funded.
Even with the government grants available, they unfortunately don't cover a third of the machinery needed to have a fully functioning factory that has the potential to employ hundreds of people.
Access to market is also a hurdle. As we only manufacture industry specific uniforms, big companies are reluctant to trust new and youth owned businesses.