In spite of her impressive professional qualifications – a Medical University of SA dentistry degree, an honours degree from Stellenbosch University and a masters from the University of Pretoria – she battled to find a bank or institution willing to consider her business plan, never mind give her a loan.
Even state funding entities set up to advise and finance small and medium enterprise start-ups were not interested, she says.
“Culturally, you’ve got problems.
“In Africa, the woman is regarded as someone who has to take care of her family full time and nothing else.
“And banks do not believe in funding entrepreneurs who are female.
“When you go to the banks, they do not believe you are capable of doing it.
“Men are the only people who can succeed in running a business.
“We are supposed to be employed or in the kitchen.
“When you come with a business plan to a bank they resist, they don’t believe it will succeed.”
Eventually a bank agreed to give her a R30000 overdraft.
“They were better than other banks which rejected me altogether. They didn’t even want to hear my story.”
Mzizana is outraged that institutions the government started with the express purpose of financing small businesses, and which are forever trumpeting their achievements in this area, showed her the door as quickly as any of the commercial banks.
“These are organisations that claim to be helping women’s businesses. They are actually not doing that at all.
“That’s why there are no women businesses that are successful. They open and within one year they’ve closed down.
“If you keep going for five years you’ve done very well as a woman.”
- Ammunition for your Business Plan (tominvestor.wordpress.com)
- Do You Have a Bag Lady Business Plan? (blogher.com)
- How to Become a Successful Business Woman (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- Common Mistakes in a Business Plan Competition (davidcummings.org)
- Weekly Wrap: Women Entrepreneurs and the Death of the Like Button (myventurepad.com)