Yogurt entrepreneur tastes success

Entrepreneur of the Century

A Turkish immigrant who five years ago started making Greek-style yogurt in an aging plant in Chenango County on Wednesday was named the nations top entrepreneur by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Chobani Inc. founder Hamdi Ulukaya used a small business loan in 2005 to buy the former Kraft Food plant in the town of Columbus, where he and about 50 employees later began making a specialty yogurt that was sold in just a single Long Island grocery store.

via Upstate yogurt entrepreneur tastes success – chicagotribune.com.

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Dice loaded against black women in business

A dentist by profession, she started her business supplying medical equipment to state hospitals nine years ago.

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.”

via Dice loaded against black women in business – Business LIVE.