Starting and sustaining a business can be challenging, especially for young individuals who have little or no funds to work with – and for those who are still learning the ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship. The same can be said about Katlego Malatji, who is one of the founders of HomeComing Events– a 100% black-owned company specializing in event organizations, consultancy, sponsorship procurement, brand management and activations, amongst other things.
We chat to Katlego Malatji about his involvement in the business, and the challenges he was faced with when getting HomeComing Events off the ground.
How and when did HomeComing Events come to life?
The idea was born in 2008; it started as a picnic for a group of friends coming home for the university holidays.
What is your role in the business?
I’m the Head of Business Development, which includes identifying and developing new business opportunities, building and expanding the
presence of the company and its brands. I also maintain fruitful relationships with existing clients.
Starting a business can be extremely challenging. Were there any financial challenges you were faced with when starting with the business?
Our financial challenges were managing our funds. When we hosted our first big event we did not know what to do with the funds. If you do
not manage your funds very well, you could lose everything. We got to the point where we were in heavy debt, but we had to learn and re-apply ourselves.
Apart from financial challenges, what other challenges were you faced with?
Our biggest challenge was that corporate support- like sponsors, came very late for us and it was hard for them to trust us as we hadn’t worked with any sponsors before.
What are the secrets behind HomeComing Events’ success?
The secret lies in listening to people. You should always have the humility to learn from everybody else’s journeys.
What makes your business unique and stand out from other businesses?
HomeComing Events is a youth driven company. It prides itself in being the bridge between corporate brands and the urban youth market. It also employs the youth which gives it direct access to it’s market.
What future plans do you have for HomeComing Events? Do you plan on expanding it and/or venturing into something slightly different?
Our focus now is to solidify our presence in the corporate marketing space.
What advice would you give other young individuals who have or want to start their own business?
Carve your own lane, but at the same time be humble enough to take
advise from the people in your industry and learn from everybody else’s journey.
Are there any highlights in your journey that can be shared?
Being able to bounce back from debt and turning Tshwanefontein to what it is today.
For more information about HomeComing Events, visit Homecomingevents.co.za.