Richard Montoeli of Richy’s Training Centre & Tech was the star of the show at the recent SAB Foundation Tholoana Programme Awards evening, held in Johannesburg on 3 May, where he received The Standing Ovation Award and The Tholoana Award, the latter including a surprise cash prize of R10 000.
The Tholoana Programme is fast becoming one of the most impactful enterprise development initiatives in SA, and currently supports over 100 entrepreneurs nationally. The first award was made to the participant who adhered diligently to all programme requirements. Richy was chosen because he had always communicated clearly, courteously and on time. He never missed a mentoring session and engaged positively at every level.
This impressive young man from Senekal was travelling out of his province for the first time in his life. Richy’s Computer Shop grew over the two years from a humble mom-and-pop business into a fully-fledged successful enterprise, run by a husband and wife team.
When his mentor, Simon Kerr, instructed him that he still had available a portion of grant money, he said: “I don’t need any more… I’m satisfied with what I’ve got.” Simon observed how this attitude shows the mark of Richard’s integrity. He said, “This is a business that started out of necessity and need, but Richy has found a way to have a great deal of fun. That should be the benchmark of any business.”
The second award, The Tholoana Award, was a particularly special one, as it recognised exceptional impact and true entrepreneurship. The SAB Foundation recognised that Richard has the initiative and skill to continue to break boundaries in business and life. They have great faith that he will unlock every ounce of his potential.
“Dynamite comes in small packages,” said his mentor. “This business started out very small, doing anything and everything to make ends meet. As it has grown over the course of the programme, it has become a fully-fledged company that understands the needs of its customers, and that sees business as a journey beyond simply making money. Richy is committed to managing and marketing and reaching customers. He has figured out how he is going to survive and how to be sustainable. The work he has done will stand him in good stead in time to come.
As Fetola we are proud to have played a part in Richy’s success and growth as a businessman and a person. Learn more about the Tholoana Programme by visiting the SAB Foundation website.
Liesl Jobson is an writer, photographer and musician. Formerly a consulting editor of Books LIVE, she is now Fetola’s media co-ordinator. She is the author of Ride the Tortoise, 100 Papers, (which was translated into Italian as Cento strappi) and View from an Escalator as well as three Book Dash children’s books. She enjoys promoting the success of the small business entrepreneurs who make South Africa work.