Sechaba Ngwenya has a keen eye for business and a passionate heart to go with it. After selling his successful ticketing business, Event AMI, he is currently building up his next project, Creditable. Sechaba is one of MEDO’s greatest success stories, and we thought it was high time to learn more about the man behind the business.
Directly after finishing high school, Sechaba took a job at ABSA bank as a bank teller, “My parents weren’t too keen on the idea of a GAP year, so if I were to take a year off, I was expected to spend it working,” Sechaba laughs. Through ABSA Sechaba was given the opportunity to study a B. Banking degree through UNISA, the distance-based university. Although it took him a few years to graduate the course, he firmly states it was something he most definitely did not enjoy. Over the next few years Sechaba moved between various banks and investment firms, always climbing up higher in the ranks with every move. “I enjoyed every position in the banking environment, except payments,” Sechaba jokes. When ABN AMRO decided to close offices in South Africa where he was working as credit analyst, Sechaba decided it was time to move on to Event AMI, his first entrepreneurial brainchild.
“Working for a company, earning a salary every month is great, but it is no way to live. You get comfortable and your brain gets fat, you stop thinking about ways to improve things around you,” Sechaba explains his jump to becoming an entrepreneur. In 2012, Sechaba was part of the International Trade Programme Group in London where investors saw the potential of Event AMI and offered to buy it off him. “Event AMI was a lot of fun, but I am not really an eventing type of person, so it was really convenient to sell. We had a lot of big contracts, but we didn’t have the capital to handle it, so it was time to step out.”
After Event AMI, Sechaba took a few months to clear his mind and then Creditable was born. “Creditable is software that allows anyone to lend money. Banks are terrible and analytical so this allows companies to loan money to those who want to do stuff, but can’t,” Sechaba further explains that with his background in banking he knows the ins and outs of the loaning process that often weighs customers unfairly. “If more people have access to better capital, more people can start-up and create. I am a firm believer that people and companies should form credit unions because only when you have money, can you make money.” Asking Sechaba whether Creditable was born as result to his failed attempts to receive a loan for Event AMI he merely laughs.
Sechaba joined MEDO for a reason very different to other entrepreneurs, “my friend had a crush on a girl at MEDO and made me sign up with him,” he laughs. After seeing what MEDO was about, he decided to stay regardless of the girl, “I was all out of ideas at the time, and I realised I needed some help.” He furthers that at MEDO the most significant thing he learnt was reading people, “you need to know who can and cannot give you business whether it be through body language or the words that come out of their mouths,” he explains.
10 Years down the line, Sechaba is looking to hand Creditable over to “someone younger and smarter” as he explains that is the natural life thread of a sustainable business. “I’d say after that my dream project will be to run the South African Reserve Bank and to create a super-bank for Africa. Currency is the base of stability for any country, and I have a few ideas how to implement that.” Until then, however, Sechaba is helping business by business, person to person receive fast and effective loans as he explains, “starting a business is effectually the only way to take people off the street and down the line build hospitals, roads and schools.”