The first Township Business Investment Summit and Expo was hosted by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) at the Soweto theatre on 6-8 June 2018. One of the Winterveld Enterprise Hub (WEH) SMMEs, Alfred Freddy Meso (32) participated in the expo. He is one of the 24 finalists out of 84 applicants.
Meso is one of the first SMMEs to join WEH in 2014. Prior to that he was running his own business, Twetwe Panel Beaters. He joined WEH because he wanted to learn the right way to do the job. Before the WEH, SMMEs also struggled to get business due to lack of marketing.
Growing up, Meso shadowed and assisted local panel beaters. Little did he know that he would spend the rest of his life working with cars. To add onto his panel beating skill, Meso spent a year training as a technician. This is where he learnt in depth how to strip a car, assemble and service it. He has been working with cars for ten years, with no formal schooling – it is his talent.
In June Meso entered the Township Business Summit with the hopes of getting exposure and winning the competition, so that he could further his aspirations in entrepreneurship. Applicants had to submit company documents and pitch what change they would bring to the community.
Meso made it as a finalist but did not win the competition. He says his lack of exposure in public speaking and pitching of ideas cost him immensely. “I was looking forward to winning the equipment, not the money. There’s lots of money in this area, we just need equipment” – said Meso.
In future, Alfred sees himself running a business like the WEH, or a one-stop-shop business park. He is very passionate about helping other SMMEs.