In the spirit of youth month, we decided to engage youngsters that are making moves- get into their heads and spark a conversation. We recently had a chat with Inga Gubeka of Indalo Décor. We discussed his entrepreneurial journey and his vision for his company.
Inga is originally from eNgqeleni in the Eastern Cape. He grew up in Durban then went on to study in Cape Town and Johannesburg. He studied interior and industrial design. Inga was drawn into design from an early age- showing proficiency in art and a predisposition towards creativity. His main drive towards becoming an entrepreneur has always been based on his passion to create wealth through empowering and adding value to people’s lives. He named his business after his son who has been a constant reminder for him to work hard in pursuit of his goals. Additionally, Indalo means nature which corresponds with the aesthetics of his products which are made from natural materials.
Sourcing funding for his fledgling business was one of his biggest challenges at the beginning of his entrepreneurial pursuit. Inga started Indalo Décor with no capital or investors in the traditional sense. Instead, he received social capital from friends and family which was vital to executing his vision and becoming a successful entrepreneur. Inga went on to emphasize that investment need not come in monetary value only. As a young start-up, striking the balance between creativity and profitability soon became a prominent challenge. He had to quickly acquire technical business skills to complement his entrepreneurial flair. He believes that access to a social network of well-established entrepreneurs is vital to minimising costly mistakes that start-ups are prone to. Essentially, learning from the mistakes of others is an asset in itself.
Inga is infinitely passionate about South African youth. His passion is centred on creating sustainable economic prospects through employment and skills transfer. Taking a closer look at the most recent labour statistics- the youth is disproportionately unemployed compared to their adult counterparts. According to Stats SA, youth unemployment (ages 15-34) in 2015 was 36.9% compared to 17% for adults (ages 35-64) over the same period. The long-term effects of high and sustained unemployment amongst the youth are usually intergenerational poverty which then feeds into pronounced social ills.
Inga believes that one of the most important ways to address the diminished economic prospects of the youth is through entrepreneurship. Small and medium sized enterprises hold the potential to employ and provide skills to young people. Through Indalo Décor, Inga hopes to achieve this goal of empowering the youth.
By Mayine Waxa – Frankly Speaking