Dear reader, on 31 July 2021 The Hive Network Johannesburg will officially be closing. After a 6-year journey, this article serves as the last communication between our famous organization and the communities we’ve joined and touched along the way..
Six years is a long time. During our journey we’ve seen countless highs, lows, unexpected challenges and some beautiful surprises – with our crowning achievement being the value we brought to our broader community, our dear friends and The Hive Network member entrepreneurs.
From our launch in 2015, our organization has supported over 70 startups and micro-enterprises, housed a creative hub that hosted hundreds of events ranging from markets and art exhibitions, to entertainment showcases, social conversations and business development seminars; touching the lives of millions of people searching for knowledge, networking, assistance or one of those magical nights out in Braam.
Our beautiful venue(s) and the people who made them such, should always be a source of pride and inspiration to everyone who helped make The Hive Network Johannesburg Project possible.
Although our home (on 81 De Korte Str.) never quite reopened since the first lockdown of 2020, we continued to support and bring value to our community with online workshops, blog articles, member projects and other efforts to continue building our hive. One of our most recent projects saw us collaborate with Instituto Feira Preta (a startup incubator in Brazil) and brought together 10 fashion entrepreneurs from both countries.
Never missing an opportunity to share knowledge
As a nod to the work our organization has achieved over the years, we’d like to leave this platform with some key learnings from our community.
6 Nuggets of Timeless business wisdom, for the 6 years we’ve been around
1. Just start
“Just start! And most importantly keep going. When you look back you will then see that there is no substitute for all your experiences.” – Simphiwe Nkula (Khazimla IT Solutions)
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but after 6 years of operating, we’ve realized that the most difficult business step for today’s entrepreneurs is getting started.
“You don’t wanna look back a decade from now thinking you could’ve been great, but knowing that fear cheated you from finding out how great you could’ve been.” –Neo Selemela (I RUN JHB)
Besides the regret that comes with missed opportunities, successful businesses cannot operate unless they start! Even beyond the space of business, you’ve probably noticed how great ideas are easily found throughout our daily interactions and social media; while the great executions to match those are usually not so prevalent.
Helping our member startups stay up and running was always a key function of our organisation. Being able to contribute to this and witness our members grow in their character and entrepreneurial journeys was a beautiful reward in itself.
“Perfect is the enemy of Good, just start with what you have and where you are. No one has it figured out, we’re all scared and we’re all figuring it out everyday. What makes the difference is that even when we [entrepreneurs] are faced with rejection, we don’t give up.” – Xolani Sedibe (Do What You Love)
2. You’ve got to keep growing
“With all you acquire, acquire wisdom and understanding. You need to understand what you do from the back of your head. Learn to grasp your work fully.” – Grace Makopa (For the Culture)
Once the crucial first step (of starting) is conquered, consistent learning and improvement is the greatest investment any entrepreneur could make into themselves or their businesses. In that regard, our greatest contribution was providing the environment, network and structures our entrepreneurs required to make moves and experience this growth for themselves.
- “Not everyone will fully understand the reasons behind the decisions you make – and that’s okay.” (Radile Mokone, Yellow.tv)
- “Be good to people. At the end of the day, none of this works without the people around you, at home and at work.” (Sibongile Musundwa, The Hive Network SA)
- “Consistency breeds results: remember why you’re doing this & keep going.” (Mandima Qunta, The Fam)
3. You’re really stronger as a team
“Allow your team to do what you hired them to do. Trust their capabilities and let go. Trying to always do things your way results in burnout and decreased morale. You’re stronger as a team.” – Sne Vilakazi (Vukawanele)
4. Do not ever sleep on the power of “networking”.
HARD WORK ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH. KNOWING THE RIGHT PEOPLE ALSO HELPS. – Qhawe Miya (Amanzi Furnitures)
Some people call it “connections” and there’s probably a blurry line between the art of networking and nepotism; but having the right people around yourself and your business can be a major factor in your chances of success.
Above and beyond the support our entrepreneurs gained directly from our organization, we managed to join startups and entrepreneurs together in strong value networks. We also used our influence and the collective Hive Network to join together with other brands and partners who helped us get closer to our vision.
From the beginning we had one job; to develop and inspire South Africa’s creative entrepreneurs.
5. Always do your research.
Working hard is meaningless without the guidance of strong research and smart data. It’s very easy to get tempted into making uninformed decisions, but doing your research will prove to be an invaluable creative and strategic resource over time.
- Research the space you wanna tap into and ensure that there’s a need for the product or service you are offering! (Neo Selemela, I RUN JHB)
- Remember to always solve problems which exist, not problems you wish could exist. [Always] be productive, not busy. (Thabo, Future Socks)
6. Take care of yourself and our community.
Entrepreneurship is stressful.
No business venture should come before your health, wellness and generally taking care of yourself. A recent trend is also a shift towards environmentalism and general responsible practices in our daily lives and business.
On taking care of yourself:
- “Your health and wellbeing is more important than the success of your business. Prioritizing holistic health is an investment into the effectiveness and sustainability of your business.” (Liz Skosana, We Like Cake)
- “If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we, as entrepreneurs, should always prepare for the unexpected. Better be prepared than not. Even for things we cannot foresee. “ (Taariq Amod, Vernac News)
- (Precious Nkadimeng, Music Unscripted) Shared a quote from Oprah Winfrey – “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and do that! What the world needs is more people who have come alive.”
- “Your job is not to continue the status quo but to expand it, it’s why you’ve come. Don’t make the mistake of trying to prove your worthiness with your business, that will only make you suffer. Instead share your gifts and talents with the world and let your business be the vehicle for that️.” (Brainbow Conscious Creatives)
If you have enjoyed our articles or benefited from our blog in any way, you can look forward to seeing our entire archives on our member business’ website: I am Multeemedia
For us, the future is, as it has always been, one exciting idea away. To our members and friends, we truly hope our organization has had a fruitful impact on your life, your career or your business. With so many experiences and memories for our community to draw learning and inspiration from, we are truly excited to see what the future has in store for you, and other creative entrepreneurs around the continent.
Hive Network Johannesburg has left the chat.