Benjamin MqxekwaPax Africana Construction (Pty) Ltd

Favorite quote: “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Woody Allen

What is your story (tell us about yourself)?
I am a first-born child of a single mother; I have two siblings. I was born in Potchefstroom. I was raised in various places due to family relocating, i spent the early ages of my life in Khuma, Klersdorp and i spent my teenage life in Kokosi Fochville. I am 30 years old, married with 3 children. my academic background includes BA Law and LLB

When did you start your first business and what inspired you to start?
I started my first business because of lifestyle pressures , i was unemployed, i coudnt finish my degree and i need to make a living. i resorted to entrepreneurship, i started a company called Imbo Capital and it was a general trader with clients like randwater, eskom and other state entities. In 2018 I left this role and started Pax Africana Constrution.

What challenges did you face in your journey? What’s the biggest obstacle you had to overcome (are still overcoming)?

As a black owned enterprise, we have struggled with market entry, professionalizing the business and importantly lack of capital to expend our operations

How did you manage to navigate your company through this period of the Covid-19 pandemic? (What business strategies/operational adjustments have you made over this period and how has it impacted your business model?)

Fortunately, we have not been badly impacted by covid due to the nature of clients we serve, their continuous return business has kept us in shape, the favorable landing rates during covid have enabled us to get more clients as people were eager to build homes with favorable building loans.

How do you approach networking and building partnerships in your industry?

Because we are a business that operates in the built environment, our networking is usually based on the personal relationship we build with clients, which lead to referrals and new business , we have created partnerships with people that work in our value chain, such as bond originators, hardware’s and other suppliers within the industry

Do you have (or ever had) a mentor in your journey, and do you believe it helped (if yes, in what way)?

I have not had a mentor before but i am open to an idea of a business mentor , i believe it wil yield positive results

What is your perspective on the South African entrepreneurial landscape before and after Covid-19 pandemic? (Would you say the “new normal” context drives more or less opportunities for entrepreneurs?) How can entrepreneurial policy development aid in expanding opportunities in this new context?

The new normal certainly requires entrepreneurs to be more diverse and innovative, the recent times have showed us that only agile and innovative companies can adapt to the changing circumstances. we need a more flexibale environment with lesser restrictions to support the growth and sustinability of SMME”S

In your opinion, what are the secrets to being a successful entrepreneur?

It is to be diligent, thoughtful and adapt to changing environments

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

You can come back from anything, no matter how bad you think the situation is. its all about your mindset