Meet Siyabonga Mhlabane, the founder of Alfred Daisy Poultry firm. The company produces, processes, packages and distribute chickens in Mpumalanga. Siyabonga is also involved in youth development programmes as a speaker during business seminars. He talks to us about his journey as a farm entrepreneur.
Please kindly tell us who is Siyabonga Mhlabane?
My name is Siyabonga Mhlabane, I grew up in Pienaar, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province. Growing up in the dusty streets of the township soccer was my religion and I had hopes of playing professionally. I had to abandon my soccer dreams to look after my mother’s chickens. She worked late in an ABET programme and I had to take over raising the chickens when she was at work after school. Little did I know I was learning about poultry farming and entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your educational journey?
I completed my matric in 2011 at Inkomazi High School. The following year I enrolled for a National Diploma in Animal Science at the North West University and completed the course in record time. I further enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, but I dropped out in 2017 to start my company called Alfred Daisy Group.
Please kindly tell us about your transitions from school/work into business.
My ambition has always been to work for myself. I started working on my business idea as a student in 2013 while doing my second year at varsity. I dropped out in 2017 to formal start the business with nothing but ambition and desire.
Why did you decide on the name ‘’Alfred Daisy Poultry?’’
The company is named after my parents. I wanted to honour them for raising the champion in me. Alfred is my late father’s name and Daisy is my mother’s name. They gave me the courage to build things that I will be proud of when I look back in my life.
What are your aspirations, aims, and objectives of your company?
Our mission at Alfred Daisy Group is to produce superior quality products day by day through enhanced technological solutions. My biggest dream for the business is to control the whole value chain of the poultry industry. This includes hatching our own chicks, producing feeds and owning an abattoir.
What are the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?
Dropping out from the University was not easy and my mother did not support this decision. I had no money to start the business and I knew the only person who can provide me with seed funding was my mother. She had a small scale poultry farm and understood the business very well. She gave me a R7 000 loan once she realized how determined I am about the business. The loan helped me to secure a lease contract for a small chicken farm.
What makes Alfred Daisy Group unique?
What makes our business unique is that we are customer oriented and innovative driven. We believe that technology is the bridge to customer satisfaction hence we strive to incorporate advanced technology in all our systems.
Tell us about your achievements thus far?
I have managed to secure seed funding worth R60 000 from the City of Mbombela’s Masisebente programme and National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). This assisted us to move production from 100 to 3000 chickens per month. We also got non-financial support from Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA). I have reach the SEDA Pitch & Perfect National Finals representing the Mpumalanga Province as the number one finalist. The pitching session was held at the SA Innovation Summit 2019 in Cape Town.
Please tell us about your involvement in development programmes for youth.
In my spare time I do motivational speaking at business seminars. I also assist aspiring entrepreneurs with information and guidance.
How can our readers find you & your business on social media?
Personal social media handle:
Linkedin: Siyabonga Mhlabane
Business social media handle:
Facebook: Alfred Daisy