BBL PARTICIPANT: Tshegofatso Kgomare, Tshepisong, Gauteng Province

In a Nutshell

Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Tshegofatso Kgomare, from Tshepisong in Gauteng has has increased her business skills and found a community of likeminded, entrepreneurial people to support her vision. She is inspired by the success stories of others.

She says…


I was born in Zeerust in the Northwest Province in 1998 and came here to Gauteng to stay with my mother in 2011. Before that I lived with my grandmother. She was a hardworking somebody with a great mind for business. I think I inherited my entrepreneurial spirit from her – she sold chickens and gardening was in her blood. She would always tell me that making a garden is the best form of exercise and it saves you a lot of money – which is very true. She used to wake me up at 5am to help her with the chores and prepare for the day ahead. That early training is why I love farming with my whole heart. Being in the garden for me is a form of therapy. It brings me peace of mind.

That sense of calm and strength that comes from being in a garden is important but what I really love is the business part of it. I remember when I was a little girl, I used to look in the mirror and say to myself: ‘I want to be a business lady.’ I am a bossy someone, so working for other people is not what I want for my life. I want to do those things for myself. It is my responsibility to change my life. I want to be able to help those in need and uplift my community. I want to make things happen.

"It is my responsibility to change my life."



Business has been my passion from my earliest days. From primary school up until today I have been selling achaar, sweets, Simbas, peanuts, paraffin, ice cream and vegetables from my garden. The day I got the invitation for SocioTech’s MyFuture training, I was over the moon. Everything they taught us was so informative and I learnt a lot. MyFuture gave me the courage that I was looking for. It provided a structure for the ideas and practices that I was trying to implement. One of the lessons I learned was to diversify and create several types of business.

In addition to my farming and selling sweets and peanuts and so on, I am also studying electrical engineering at South-West College. I am doing this because I want to keep all my options open and my life balanced. I want to have something to fall back on. Business is complex and doesn’t always go according to your plan right away. You need to be able to tough it out and support yourself while the different projects grow. Education protects against setbacks. If one thing is still struggling, it will support you through the lean times.

Many people ask me how do I manage with all that I’m doing. I told them that only if you focus you will make it. Try not to spend money on things that you do not need. Try to save and invest in your future. If you love kotas, forget about kotas. Use the money to buy seeds for tomatoes and spinach.


".....only if you focus you will make it."

I buy most of my stock in Lenasia. The way Indian traders are doing things inspires me. Indians work as a team. They give each other support and that is why their business is successful. If we as the black community can copy that, I am telling you we can fight poverty in our community. Now I'm calling to people who like business like me, can we come together and share ideas, in that way we can grow our business to the next level.

I always try to learn lessons from the success of others. There is no point in jealousy. That just wastes time. I look at the success of others and get inspired by it. One of the things I would love to do is go to some of the business gatherings that I see being advertised online. I want to meet people who have succeeded. Those meetings are far away so I can’t get to them, but I watch videos on social media.

I am talking in very positive terms now and I try to always keep focused this way, but sometimes it is very difficult. I am the first born and I feel responsible for my family. Sometimes I cry and I say: ‘mummy I can’t do this. It is too hard’ and she says: ‘I believe in you. You’ve got this. Just pray.’ When I face negativity and start to feel depressed, I go back to my SocioTech workbook for inspiration and guidance. That helps me stick to the plan.