Business opportunity found in waste sector

Entrepreneur Keith Ngobeni changed his business model from artchar distribution to a waste transportation business.

Waste management

Entrepreneurship has a lot to do with seizing new opportunities. When Keith Ngobeni started his business NIA Group in 2015, he had no idea that a conversation with a customer about waste distribution would lead to the establishment of his new business venture.

 

Ngobeni changed his business model from artchar distribution to a waste transportation business. Today NIA group is a waste processing business that services the Waste Bureau which is under the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry.

 

“I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and my interest evolved to the point where I even headed a small business culture group,” said Ngobeni.

 

After a conversation about waste distribution with a customer that was collecting atchar, Ngobeni researched green business models that he could venture into. His research ignited a passion for sustainability.

 

NIA Group’s values are underpinned by their desire to create sustainable jobs for the communities they operate in and to have a positive impact on the environment. “I realized that the waste industry has high growth potential in all areas, and I decided to enter the sector,” he said.

 

The company transitioned from a general freight provider to focus on waste management operations. “We have shut down our previous divisions and consolidated all resources to focus exclusively in green-centric industries,” he said.

 

Ngobeni is proud that his company is creating jobs and contributing towards the growth of the circular economy.

 

Waste transportation is important because if waste is not collected it ends up in landfills which compromises the economy and environment.

 

Ngobeni believes transport and logistics are a core function of the waste industry and without this sector the economy would come to a standstill.

 

The business’s growth journey has been full of ups and downs, lessons, and achievements. Lack of finances has been a huge challenge for the business. “All the business’s growth and expansion has been self-funded,” he said.

 

Ngobeni added that other challenges include been held back by bureaucracy, barriers to entry and a lack of visible support for black entrepreneurs in the waste sector.

 

“The road is becoming easier to navigate, thanks to incubators and mentors offering training programmes and facilitating access to markets,” he added.

 

Despite the many challenges faced by small business owners in the waste sector, Ngobeni is positive that entrepreneurship is the way to go.

 

“As an entrepreneur, you simply have to keep pushing – even when the obstacles you face feel overwhelming. You need to keep moving,” he concluded.

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