Hout Bay businesswoman Noleen Samuels says she is committed to staying in this country and believes small business is the answer to South Africa’s future.
Ms Samuels plans to use what she has learnt to help entrepreneurs, especially women.
She took out a loan 14 years ago to buy a business with three staff which now has 30 workers she says.
With the smell of freshly baked cakes wafting through her mountainside home in Hout Bay, Ms Samuels recalls her early years sleeping on the floor of the lounge in her parent’s Athlone home with no hot water.
The 42 year-old grew up in Westridge, Blackheath and Athlone. She attended three primary schools, Westville, Athlone and Penhill, before Windsor High School, where she became head prefect.
Ms Samuels says she has no tertiary education because she had no idea what to study.
She worked in sales at a Diep River company doing odour control and grease-trap maintenance. When the owner decided to change his lifestyle, he offered the company to Ms Samuels. Pregnant with her first child, she took out a loan to buy the business. Starting off with a handful of clients, she paid the loan off over five years.
The business grew and Ms Samuels started attending seminars with venture capitalist and author Daniel Strauss.
“I’m now hanging out with business owners who have trusts and know where they are going,” she recalls. “I come from a family who has never heard of these things or owned and run a successful business.”
Ms Samuels says she loves living in Hout Bay with “the sense of community with people stepping in whenever there’s a disaster”. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, entertaining, coffee dates, walking in the mountains, singing in worship groups and coaching friends.
Ms Samuels is to appear in Meer as Net ‘n Loopbaan (More Than Just a Career), on VIA-tv, DStv channel 147, on Monday July 10, at 6.30pm.
Hosted by Mr Strauss, the show helps entrepreneurs find solutions to their problems.
“Noleen is a very successful entrepreneur. She has attended my seminars and was also on my mentorship programmes. I wish her all the success and best for the future,” says Mr Strauss.