Self made entrepreneur
Xoliswa Gilbert is a mother of two and is a self-made business woman.
She co-owns two food outlet franchises in Mdantsane, namely Zebros and The Fish and Chips Co, alongside her husband who helps her with the business. She also solely runs an events company called, Asahj Projects.
Her journey has not been easy but she soldiers on inspired by the knowledge that her companies create employment opportunities for locals so that no one goes to bed hungry.
Her advice to prospective female business owners is to always embark on a business venture with their eyes wide open and do what you love and understand, to avoid failure.
“It is very important to know the product that you have invested in, as it is pointless to be a business owner and do not understand the product that you are offering,” explained Gilbert.
Growing up, Gilbert was surrounded by business women, who in turn inspired her.
Her mother and aunt motivated her to venture into the business world, and take the risk of leaving formal employment to start on her own.
The gamble on her part has paid off as she is currently blooming in her business.
She aspires to own more than just her current franchises and is hopeful to dominate the Eastern Cape food and beverage industry with franchises that belong to her.
“It is not easy having your own company because it is different from being employed.
There are competitors that you need to take into consideration and managing people is a challenge on its own but you need to make it work,” said Gilbert.