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5 tips to help you manage credit during the festive season


The festive season is on our doorstep and while most of us are looking forward to unwinding and switching off, the one thing that we cannot switch off from is managing our money efficiently. If anything, December and January are the two months in the year during which we need to give our finances extra thought and attention.

5 tips to help you manage credit during the festive season:

Don’t splurge during the festive season
While it’s always tempting to spend during the festive season, it is important to stick to your budget to avoid over spending. Sticking to your budget will ensure that you are in control of your money to cover all your financial obligations.

Use your bonus wisely
If you will be receiving a bonus this year, consider using the extra available funds to pay off your most expensive debt (e.g. debt with a high interest rate). This will reduce the amount of interest you pay and could shorten the loan term.

Switch your credit into one personal loan*
Debt can be overwhelming if you have multiple credit products from various providers. A helpful money management tip is to switch your qualifying* credit into one convenient personal loan. By doing so you will benefit from having fewer monthly repayments to keep track off and, depending on how you structure the personal loan, could free up money every month thanks to a reduced minimum monthly repayment. Reach out to your trusted financial services provider to discuss the right credit solution to suit your needs and remember to never borrow more than you need or more than you can repay.

Do not miss payments
Avoid missing your loan repayment as this can negatively impact your credit score and make it difficult for you to get credit when you need it in future. It is important to take time to fully understand your loan agreement and its terms and conditions.  One of the ways in which you can better manage your money is by making sure you know what additional benefits your financial services provider offers you.

Consider a ‘payment holiday’ if necessary
Find out if your financial services provider offers ‘payment holidays’ as not having to pay a monthly loan instalment in January can go a long way in alleviating some of the financial pressures we tend to experience after the holiday season. Make sure you understand how taking up an offer such as this will affect the rest of your repayments. By proactively making sure that you have a money management plan in place for your finances over the festive season you likely to start the new year on sound financial footing.

Flexyforce supports the local startup ecosystem


The Heavy Chef and Cape Town Startup Week 2019 (CTSUW) has announced the inclusion of Flexyforce, a new cloud-based supplier management tool to this year’s exhibitor line-up. More than your average software, Flexyforce is modernising the way businesses onboard, contract and manage payouts for all kinds of suppliers. Situated in the Startup Village, Flexyforce will have a live showcase of its features, such as faster supplier onboarding and real-time reporting - which ultimately means less paper-based admin, better burn management and more productivity for South African entrepreneurs.

Annette Muller, CEO and Founder of Flexyforce, says that the decision to partner was easy: “We are committed to the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem and this event will play an important role in assisting startups to learn how to work together to succeed in a challenging business environment. We believe we can not only be an asset from a business automation perspective but also contribute to the larger South African startup community by promoting startup collaboration. CTSUW will enable us to share this philosophy further and increase awareness of our software aimed at digitising the compliance, legal and payout processes assisting enterprises to work with entrepreneurs, freelancers and small to medium suppliers more seamlessly.”

As one of South Africa’s first digital onboarding, contracting and payout systems that caters to flexible suppliers like freelancers, contractors and shift workers, Muller is excited to showcase Flexyforce during CTSUW, and show startups just how easy it is to embrace modern workforce software. “Our team relies heavily on cloud-based startup tools such as Trello, Zoom, Xero, Calendly and Slack and we wouldn’t be nearly as productive without them; so many of our clients say the same thing about Flexyforce, by digitising the onboarding and contracting of all of their suppliers their teams have a lot more time to do actual work versus administrative work,” says Muller.

During CTSUW, Heavy Chef is hosting a ‘Top 5 most exciting startups’ initiative. In its third consecutive year, a lineup of extraordinary startup founders will reveal how they are changing the world. This is the final event and forms part of the 'First Thursday' agenda. Muller says that Flexyforce will award the nominees of this prestigious competition with a free one-year account. This will include access to all premium Flexyforce features as well as free access to a central discovery network of suppliers and freelancers to procure from, valued at approximately R30 000 annual saving per startup.

“We are passionate about supporting startup businesses. Not only to provide them with modern software to automate key supplier administration and compliance requirements from the get-go, but by also assisting and encouraging these entrepreneurs to use each other’s businesses and products.” says Muller.

RELATED: Annette Muller: I create the reality I want to experience in this life

Developing a trusted community for business-to-business startups is crucial. One company’s success will result in growth and opportunity for everyone. Muller says this could drive additional acquisitions, funding and overall opportunities within the local startup community: “Heavy Chef has done such incredible work developing an ecosystem and Flexyforce wants to provide a meaningful contribution.”

Flexyforce will be in the Startup Village in Workshop 17 at the V&A Waterfront. Heavy Chef and CTSUW 2019 run from 3 – 5 December 2019.

Avon Justine and Other Black Friday Deals 2019


A windfall of beauty and personal care products is in the offing for Avon Justine customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and customers will have an opportunity to get discounts of up to a whopping 80% for Avon products between Friday, 27 and Saturday, 30 November.

These mouth-watering deals which will enable Avon Justine customers to derive great value and augment their bouquet of personal care products at a fraction of the cost. This four-day bargain frenzy will also provide its beauty entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell bigger volumes and provide more for their families this festive season.Avon and Justine customers and beauty entrepreneurs will be happy to know that they can shop and take orders more seamlessly using a number digital platforms such as:

- My Avon Store, a customisable Avon online shop;

- Avon On app, which gives customers the ability to browse the latest deals and place their order directly with their sales representative;

- Direct Deliveries which enables customers to manage their own delivery and frees up sales representatives to focus on their business; and

- WhatsApp Bot, an interactive service and customer query platform.

Being an aspirational brand, Avon has sought to perfect its digital experience without losing the personal touch that the success of direct-selling is anchored on. It is this legacy that has seen Avon introducing leading products that have become industry benchmarks such as its iconic lipstick range and popular fragrances that continue to win the hearts and minds of millions of customers around the world. Similarly, Justine has built its legacy as a truly South African brand catering world-class products suitable for our hot climate.

Avon Justine urges its customers and beauty entrepreneurs to take advantage of these offers and use the available digital platforms to place and advertise these bargains.

Remember, sales are usually for a limited time and quantities are sometimes limited, too – Most Black Friday ads say things like "while supplies last" or "limited quantity." That means you may not be able to find everything you want. 

Here is the rest of the list of the retailers that will be participating:

Pick n Pay - Up to 58% off on a range of products (link here)
House & Home – Savings on furniture and home entertainment products (link here)
Checkers – Up to 50% off on a range of products (link here)
Cybercellar – Big savings on a variety of wine (link here)
Zando – Save on a range of fashion items in its Black Friday week (link here)
Dion Wired – Up to 50% off tech products and gadgets (link here)
CNA: Savings on a wide variety of goods (link here)
Game: “The biggest shopping day ever” (link here)
Dischem – Specials on Black Friday (link here)
Travelstart – Get Travel offers (link here)
iStore – 1-day sale, only in store (link here)
Spree -  8% on sale (link here)
Spec Savers - Big discounts and savings (link here)
ToyRUs - The store has a a lot of specials (link here)
Net Florist -  Get up to 50% OFF selected products. (link here)
Incredible Connection – Reduced prices on many tech products, and a “Lunch Time Blast” with 10% discount on all online products (link here)
HiFi Corp – 85% off gadgets and tech products (link here)
Not sure if Woolworths has black Friday but they currently have a 20% for non cardholders and 30% for cardholders deals.

It can be fun – Black Friday is a tradition and shoppers so enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
Remember this one day is NOT a reason to overspend but rather to get goods at a cheaper price.  I hope you won't be piling up on debt.

The science, magic and journey behind winemaking and investments


I would be the first to profess that I am not a wine expert by any means. I would like to think of myself as more of an informed wine snob, fascinated by the complexity and creativity of wine and winemaking. Wine on its own is a fairly simple thing, right? It's just fermented grape juice. You crush some grapes, ferment the juice and bottle the product. While enjoying a superb wine is one of life’s great pleasures, the carefully managed journey from grape to glass is often overlooked in the joy of consumption.

Similarly, levels of careful decision making are critical for superior investment outcomes. The trick in making a superb wine – and indeed the trick to having a smooth and predictable investment experience – is making the right choices at the outset of your journey. The process of winemaking is as important as appreciating the drink itself. The Art of Winemaking and the Art of Investing both require specific professional skillsets, whilst also requiring the human traits of pure patience and faith in one’s process or methodology!

Even with ample strategic planning, the winemaker is constantly on a journey of discovery. While he knows the vineyards well, his learning and adjusting in the search for success never ceases. It is exactly the same with an investment manager; he positions his portfolio for success, yet is constantly balancing risk against return.

Just as the winemaker invests in his craft by upskilling to become a cellarmaster and viticulturist in order to understand the entire winemaking process before he can provide superior quality to the wine community and it’s connoisseurs, so too does the investment manager upskill to become a behavioural expert and economist in order to understand the market dynamics at play before he can enable a strategy to get the investor to his desired outcome.

Great wine is made in the vineyard

Any good winemaker will tell you that the decision-making process starts long before the grapes start ripening. A host of variables can determine whether a wine is superb, good, mediocre or undrinkable. These include the soil composition, rainfall, direction of the sunlight, prevailing winds, gradient of the vineyard, row direction and timing of the harvest. Like all things that originate in nature, the earth where the grapes are grown is the single most important aspect in winemaking. The French refer to it as terroir, that little bit of je ne sais quoi that turns a good wine into an unforgettable experience.

Terroir in winemaking is akin to an investment manager’s philosophy and process. An investment philosophy represents the guiding principles behind a company’s belief system when investing. While a study of different investment philosophies is beyond the scope of this article, every successful investment philosophy and process will have the following core principles:

- Proficient, passionate individuals where client centricity is at the core of the process;

- A robust, repeatable and flexible process that has been tested through a range of market cycles;

- Where the ultimate focus is achieving the client’s investment outcome over the long term.

Staying the course

If you start from scratch and want the best Cabernet Sauvignon, how long do you think it will take? Preparing the vineyard, especially if it involves removing old vines and minimising pest or disease control, is likely to take at least two years. From planting to reasonable crop, is likely to take four more years and to desired yield levels and stable quality can take a few more years. The wine is likely to require at least three years of maturation and aging before release. This means the entire process takes at least nine years. Arguably, many a wine snob will tell you that a good Cabernet needs seven to nine years in the bottle before savouring.

Patience and staying the course in winemaking can be likened to an investor choosing to stay invested in his portfolio and reap the ultimate rewards by not becoming emotional and taking risks. Staying invested over the long term is the best solution. Most times, staying still and being grounded delivers a stronger outcome than having much noise and activity that result in a non-outcome. Like fine wine, investing needs the right blend of preparation and perseverance in order to yield the best results.

Here are five steps to take when choosing the right investment:

  • First and foremost, before you make any investing decision, sit down and honestly assess your entire financial situation
  • Choose an investment house that focuses on its client – putting the client’s needs first
  • Stay invested, stay in the markets, have a plan and know the goal that you are working towards
  • Plan your journey and understand that you need compelling reasons to change course
  • Finally, choose an investment house that stands for predictability and stability in what they do. Ensure that your financial planning journey is made as comfortable, predictable and as smooth as possible

“Tell me what you drink and I will tell you what you are” once said Brillat-Savarin (one of the first gastronomic writers). Appreciation for wine shows that you have taken time to understand complex things. This is a social proof and it is the same if you’re new to investing – it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. There are strange new words to figure out, complicated ideas to understand, new decisions to make, and plenty of conflicting advice about all of it. However, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in finance to be a good investor, same as not having to be a viticulturist to learn about and enjoy this mysterious, liquid silk beverage called wine.

By Francois Lombard, Investment and Savings Specialist from Momentum Investments

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Your Loved Ones


Although a fun and joyous time of the year, the festive season can often be associated with stress and panic, especially when it comes to braving the shops a few days before Christmas in order to find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

To help consumers avoid that last-minute festive season shopping rush, Avon has officially launched its festive offerings from 12 November 2019. To simplify the process further, Avon has also incorporated an easy-to-navigate Gift Guide on its eCommerce website and brochures, making it easy for anyone to find the perfect gift without any additional stress. No matter who you’re looking to buy a gift for, Avon’s extensive range of gifting options have you covered – with the added benefit of only being a few clicks away.

Herewith some of the best offerings from Avon this season, all of which are under R200, so won’t break the bank:

1. Indulge her:

Give her the gift of sensually soft skin with the new Encanto Irresistible range that consists of shower gel, body lotion and hand cream for only R179.00. The new range is delicately scented with a pink flower bouquet and opulent amber to ensure your skin feels luxuriously indulgent at all times. The special lady that receives this gift will certainly not be disappointed!

2. Invigorate him:

Get your man ready for 2020 with an Avon Black Suede Set for Him. The set comprises of a hair and body wash, anti-perspirant deodorant, body spray and Eau de Toilette for just R199.00. The Black Suede range exudes a classic blend of warm woods and fresh greens, offering up that irresistible feel to anyone that wears it.

3. Scents for Teens:

Spoil your daughter, niece or sister with a collection of fragrances created especially for the trendy young woman. The Scent Mix range is made up of four unique scents including Romantic Bouquet, Velvet Amber, Vibrant Fruity and Sparkly Citrus. Usually R120 each, this festive season Avon is offering shoppers any two fragrances for only R149.

4. Treats for your BFF:

Spoil your BFF with Avon True’s Colour Perfectly Matte Lipstick and take advantage of the festive season special of two lippies for only R139.90, usually valued at R119.90 each. Choose any two shades from the NUDE and RED range – whichever is best suited to her personality, and be assured that this smooth formula will offer a bold, matte finish that keeps your lips feeling moisturised all day long.

5. Get yourself ready for 2020:

Nothing says ‘new year, new me’ like the perfect pamper session to make your skin feel fabulous. Spoil yourself with the Avon Senses, Avon Care and Hint of Nature combo, all for only R99.00. This pamper collection is the perfect treat for you!

* Prices mentioned above are for November 2019 only.

Over 1200 of Avon’s beauty and skincare products are now available at the click of a button, 24/7. Avon’s new direct delivery service offers consumers a secure pay-point system with either free delivery through a representative or a courier service straight to your door for a small fee.

3 Scams Doing The Rounds This Festive Season


Just as the Festive Season sees people relax and become more socially active, criminals utilise this opportunity to exploit human psychology by using malicious social engineering tactics to steal personal or confidential information to defraud people.
SABRIC, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre,encourages people to empower themselves by sharing information selectively, and on a need-to-know basis only. This is why we are adding the hashtag label #NotSaying to all our messaging, to remind people to not just share any personal information without careful consideration when prompted to do so.” says Susan Potgieter, SABRIC acting CEO.

SABRIC on behalf of the banking industry would like to share the tactics that criminals are using to defraud people this Festive Season, to ensure that they are aware of how to protect their hard-earned cash.

Here are the different scams doing the rounds

Confidential information includes usernames, passwords, OTPs (One Time PINs), PIN numbers and card security codes. SABRIC has seen a sharp increase in Vishing incidents where criminals phone bank customers, lead them to believe that they are speaking to the bank or a legitimate service provider and use these social engineering tactics to coerce them into disclosing their confidential banking information. Personal information includes identity documents, driver’s licenses, passports, addresses, full card details including the card security code as well as contact details and the compromise thereof creates opportunities for criminals to impersonate bank representatives and either take over the victim’s facilities or apply for credit using their credentials fraudulently.

“This is blatant abuse of a person’s inclination to trust.” says Potgieter.

Another scam that criminals are still deploying is to trick people into paying for holiday accommodation that doesn’t exist. This scam sees criminals preying on people’s anxiety about booking a last-minute holiday. Victims are lured with what seems to be a really good deal, pay for the holiday in full and are then unable to make further arrangements with the agent who has simply disappeared.

“An offer that seems too good to be true should make you suspicious.” adds Potgieter.

SABRIC is also cautioning bank clients to be vigilant when withdrawing holiday cash at ATMs. Criminals continue to attempt to steal bank cards and PINs by interfering with people while they are carrying out a transaction, and SABRIC urges bank clients not to accept assistance from anyone, even if they look well-dressed or seem legitimate. Interference also goes beyond accepting assistance, as it has been noted that scammers use deceitful tactics like telling people that the ATM machine needs to be programmed or serviced immediately after they have inserted their ATM card. Clients must be aware of these tricks and call security if needs be.

Bank clients are also urged not to carry large amounts of cash, and rather find safer ways to transact such as cell phone banking or internet transfers. Criminals know that people get their bonuses and that stokvels pay out at this time.

Sheinvest - New Initiative to Mobilise EUR 1 Billion for Women across Africa


The European Investment Bank is unlocking transformative investment supporting gender equality and female entrepreneurs; Boosting innovative digital and financial solutions for women; Promoting gender-responsive climate financing.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched SheInvest, a new initiative to boost gender equality and female economic empowerment. The aim is to mobilise EUR 1 billion of investment that can benefit millions of women across Africa with better access to finance and by making sustainable infrastructure services and products work for them. This initiative was launched simultaneously at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg and at the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg.

Building on experience in northern and sub-Saharan African countries as well as in gender focused lending, the EIB will step up efforts to further invest in projects, sectors and markets that have a transformative effect on gender equality and can increase the capacity of women and girls to participate in the economy and labour market.

In addition, dedicated Technical Assistance will provide capacity building and mentoring to women entrepreneurs so that they can better access finance and will support intermediaries in designing financial products tailored to their needs.

Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President in charge of development operations, said: “Unlocking the potential of women is key to boosting Africa’s economic growth. In several African countries many women still lack access to basic services and are excluded from the financial and labour markets, making them unable to contribute fully to their continent’s development. As the bank of the European Union, we are committed to deliver on gender equality and are proud to be backing this important mission through the new SheInvest initiative.”

SheInvest will focus particularly on investment in innovative digital solutions and financial products to reach women and girls who are often excluded from such services. This should increase their economic opportunities and social inclusion.

The initiative also aims to promote gender-responsive climate financing, acknowledging the key role played by women in climate action and at the same time addressing their vulnerability to climate change impacts. Investment will therefore target climate and gender responsive infrastructure projects, such as projects enhancing women’s access to water, clean, reliable and affordable energy, as well as sustainable public transport.

Investment under this initiative will be guided by the 2X Challenge criteria (, that the EU Bank adopted to increase the impact of its financing for gender equality and women economic empowerment in developing countries.

What does it mean when your car’s a write-off?


If you’ve been involved in an accident and your insurance provider informs you that your car is a write-off, there’s no doubt that you’re feeling pretty stressed about the situation. This is our guide to everything you need to know going forward.

While insurance will undeniably soften this blow, the reality is that there are so many variables at play when dealing with a write off and many people – even those with the most seemingly comprehensive insurance policies – come out feeling hard done by.

Christelle Colman, Managing Director and Founder of Elite Risk Acceptances says that being clued up about the process followed by insurers in the event of a car being written off, can help policy holders to better navigate the claims process and avoid any unnecessary financial loss.

“Generally speaking, an insurer will classify a car as a write off if the cost of repairs is high in relation to – or more than – the car’s insured value. This, however, is by no means an exact science and will depend on the car’s make, date of registration, and millage. Even the popularity of the car may come into play here, as this influences the availability and cost of repair parts.”

Colman uses the example of an imported car, which may suffer relatively small damages, but due to high cost of repairs, insurers will elect to write the vehicle off. “In this instance, it will cost less to pay out the value of the vehicle in full, than to repair the damage. Insurers are also entitled to the salvage and will in terms of their agreements, recover a portion of the claims cost from the salvage dealer.”

That said, she points out that some premium insurers will replace a car with a brand new one if it is written off within the first year or two of registration. “While the Elite policy offers ‘new for old’ within the first two years of a car’s registration, this benefit is not always included in other motor insurance policies, so it’s best to request this when insuring a new vehicle.

“When this ‘new for old’ benefit is not applicable, insurers tend to settle the full retail amount in cash following a total loss, less the applicable excesses, which is another very important consideration. Too often, policyholders only find out about hefty excess structures at the time of a loss when they are ill prepared to afford the payments,” Colman explains.

Differentiating between retail, market and book value, and knowing which one a car is insured for, is another topic that Colman says causes untold confusion for policyholders. “Unfortunately, even some insurers seem to have different definitions of what market, book, retail or guaranteed sum insured values are, so my advice would be to get this question on record and make an informed decision with your insurer or broker.

“With Elite, you can choose to insure your vehicle at retail value (as obtained from the various independent data sets we have at our disposal as insurers) or at agreed value where the vehicle is deemed a vintage car. You may also elect to guarantee the retail value of the vehicle for 12 months, which means if there is a total loss within the first year, you will not be penalised for the depreciation in the vehicle retail value.”

If the accident was caused by another individual, Colman says that an insurer will usually action third party recovery on the policyholder’s behalf. “Where the recovery is successful, the policyholder will be refunded the excess paid as well as having their no claims record reinstated. It is therefore vital to get all the information at the scene of the accident, including photographs of the accident scene and vehicle, as this can greatly assist insures to make a successful recovery of damages caused by a third party.”

Lastly, Colman urges people to check and understand whether their policy covers a courtesy car in the event of a write off. “This extension is included in the Elite policy, but often it is elective and carries additional premium. We find that policyholders are often left unable to get to work or execute on their duties as the insured vehicle is either in for a long period of repairs, or a waiting period following a write off,” she concludes.

Mpho Majoe: Don't be afraid to dream big and believe that you can achieve your goals


Direct sales jobs provide many women with the opportunity to earn income by building their own business. In a direct sales business model, most participants are independent contractors who get to determine how many hours they want to work. This provides much needed flexibility versus what a regular full-time job offers. So Avon gave me the opportunity to speak to one of their top sales rep and single mother, Mpho Majoe from Soweto.  Read on to see how her journey began and how she made it work for her.

The Disruptors: How did you get started with Justine? Why did you begin selling their products? 
Mpho Majoe: I was first introduced to Avon back in 2007 when I was traveling with my cousin from home in Mahikeng. Our aunt gave us Treselle lotion and body spray. We both loved it and we enjoyed the attention we received on the bus along the way. I loved it so much that I went to a mall while I was in Cape Town to search for it. At the time, I didn't know that it was an Avon product. I managed to find it in 2010 when I was in Soweto. There were two ladies near a retail brand who were recruiting new sellers. I started browsing through their brochure and that is when I saw Treselle. I asked how to join, went home to get my ID, filled the forms and the rest is history. Within two days, I was approved with a credit limit of R1 250. I started with 1500 orders of Treselle as it was the only product I knew from Avon and could back with my story.

The Disruptors: How did you find your customers? 
Mpho Majoe: I found my first customers through word of mouth and getting referrals.

The DisruptorsWhat does it take to be a successful Avon independent seller? 
Mpho Majoe: It takes a lot of patience, knowledge, and love for the products you are selling and working smarter towards your goals.

The Disruptors: What’s the biggest mistake that you made as a new direct sales consultant for Avon? 
Mpho Majoe: The biggest mistake I made in my early days as a sales rep was not communicating to my clients that this was cash on delivery service. Some were expecting me to leave the products with them and then collect the money later in the month. That almost shortened my entrepreneurial journey but I persevered and became wiser to ask first if they can pay. It got way better than I expected until now.

The DisruptorsWhat did you do to create a consistent cash flow for your business?
Mpho Majoe: I invested the profits I made from the previous month back into the business to make sure I covered all my customers. I also kept up to date with the information provided in most brochures about certain products, tried the products myself so that I can answer the customers questions. This helped my sales to keep growing from strength to strength. I also found myself a spot where I could sell and recruit at the same time to make sure I achieved my set target sales.

The DisruptorsHow are you using technology (social media) to grow your business?  
Mpho Majoe: Nowadays, I use social media to advertise any specials or promotions that Avon has. My family, friends, and contacts also assist by sharing the information I send to them.

The DisruptorsWhat advice would you give to a new consultant on how to build a thriving direct sales business? 
Mpho Majoe: To build a thriving direct sales business you need a lot of patience, perseverance and a willingness to challenge yourself daily. You will get a lot of "Nos" when you are starting but do not be discouraged by them. Keep going and push yourself to achieve what you have set for yourself because it starts with you making that choice. And treat your customers with professional respect.

The DisruptorsWhat should aspiring consultants look for when they’re searching for new direct sales opportunities?
Mpho Majoe: As an aspiring representative in the direct selling business,  look at the chance of being your own boss. The best way to do this is to choose a product line that you are personally passionate about. If you can’t see yourself using the products, stay away.  But if you believe in the product, it will be easy for you to sell it and you will find customers that are willing to pay for it.

The DisruptorsWhat’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to someone starting as an Avon sales rep? 
Mpho Majoe: My biggest advice is to don't be afraid to dream big and believe that you can achieve your goals.

The DisruptorsWho would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why? 
Mpho Majoe: I am a significant influence in my life because my story and journey is true. And people can relate to me as they see me daily, knocking on their doors to offer them this life-changing opportunity. Some pity me but I tell them not to because I get to make my own money and control my destiny.  They then move from pity to being inspired by my story.  Whether sunny, dusty or cloudy the sun always comes up to fulfill its purpose every day and so shall I.

The DisruptorsWould you encourage women to sell Avon's products especially in our current economy where jobs are harder to find? 
Mpho Majoe: Yes! I encourage them to sell Avon every day because it is loved by the young and old and it is very affordable. Not only will this give them some extra money but it will also give them a chance to be their bosses, to change their lives.  I love Avon because it changes lives: they fight breast cancer, supports abused women and children, and empower women to control their financial destiny.

Are you interested in direct sales? Wonder if you have the right personality for it?

You can get in touch with Mpho via email: or via her cellphone: 076 402 9459.

In the face of rising unemployment and increased costs of living, Avon Justine is looking to financially empower more than 150 000 women across South Africa to be “Be their OWN” Boss.  Becoming an Avon Justine beauty entrepreneur is easy and seamless, and there are no minimum requirements. Sign up online via or SMS Shortcode: Avon: 43033/Justine: 430032/Whatsapp Bot: 0860 102345

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are my own.  Follow me on Instagram to win hampers from Avon Justine.

How To Communicate With Your Children About Stressful Financial Times


As the realities of the South African economy begin to bite, most households may increasingly find it hard to keep head above water. However, this is just the time to apply the utmost financial discipline.

Many parents are feeling helpless and stressed-out about what’s happening in the economy. Even if they have a job now, there’s a lot of anxiety about whether they’ll still have one a few months down the road.

Certainly, there are no easy fixes to our country's financial problems. Any quick look at the daily news will attest to that. Still, families can—and should—take steps to maintain control of their finances in these uncertain economic times. Doing so will not only decrease your stress levels but ensure that your family comes out stronger during these trying times.

Consider the following when thinking about communicating with your child about these current economically stressful times:

Have the conversation. Talk to your children about what they see in the news about the economy. Ask what they think we can all do about it. Ask them how they believe this affects them, their friends, and your family. Use this opportunity to talk with them about how your family may be affected. Talk about how your income loss affects money available for extra activities and allowances. Talk about family spending priorities. Discuss how each person will help control family spending.

Check in with them. Check back in with your children to see your message was understood. Choose some period after your initial conversation on money to check back in with your child, whether it be a few days or a week. This may depend on the child’s age.

Spare them the worry. Although parents are encouraged to share information with their children about the family’s budget be sure not to overwhelm them with grim details. Children need a sense of security and stability. Continue with family rituals and routines that don’t break the family bank.

Make it fun whenever possible. Elicit your children’s ideas and support about things your family can do to save money and cut costs in the home. Perhaps, the person in the house who takes the shortest time in the shower wins an award for the week. This activity can do two things (1) make them aware of the time they spend expending water, and (2) help them see (at the end of the month) how much money the family saves when everyone cuts back on water usage. For more tips on cutting household costs, see Spend Smart/Save Smart Tips.

Give them a task. If your children always ask for pricey items in the grocery store give them a shopping on a budget task. Give them an allotted amount, a list of items they must buy, and a calculator in hand. They will have to figure out how to price items and figure out the best value. You may need to model for them how to find the best value.

Be a good financial role model. Children learn values through not only what verbal messages they get but also by the examples adults/parents set for them. Also, help your children focus on the positive aspects of their lives. Look at family and personal strengths and draw on talents and contributions of all family members. Recognize these contributions, no matter how small.

No matter what your family’s financial situation is, do not overly worry. Yes, these are indeed perilous economic times. There is a lot we could become anxious about if we let ourselves—but don’t. Do what you can to try to get your financial house in order and to provide for yourself and your loved ones. 

Key Points For Female Entrepreneurs To Use in Order To Flourish


Statistics reveal that female entrepreneurship is lagging in South Africa, with women making up only 18.8% of small and medium enterprise (SME) owners in the country. Coupled with the latest unemployment data from Stats SA - which reveals that female unemployment continues to rise - this data highlights the need and opportunity for women to pursue entrepreneurship as a career.

This is according to Precilla Kalogeropoulos at Avon Justine - one of South Africa’s largest beauty brands and supporter of micro, beauty entrepreneurs – who says that female entrepreneurs are a vast untapped source of innovation, job creation and economic growth in South Africa. “By embracing entrepreneurship as a career choice, women have the opportunity to empower themselves financially as well as create employment opportunities for others.

“However, despite the opportunities, a number of challenges can hinder women from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams, including a tough competitor market and attracting new customers.”

Precilla says one way female entrepreneurs can bolster their entrepreneurial presence and skills is by developing a strong personal brand. “By building and growing a personal brand, especially as a woman in a “male-dominated” industry, you are affording yourself the opportunity to showcase not only your work but also your ethos to your audience.

“As a self-employed professional, a personal brand, along with your level of expertise within your given field, is what will set you apart from competitors. You need your unique brand to express and communicate your abilities to your customer base. And the truth is, it really isn’t that difficult, but it does require commitment.”

Precilla outlines a few key points for female entrepreneurs to use in order to flourish:

1.       Define your target market and build your audience

To do this, you need to foster relationships with both current and potential customers. Often, entrepreneurs use networking or community events to do this. As you build your network, you can attract more business while drumming up referral business through happy clients. Although it’s important to note that face-to-face networking is very important, ensuring a digital footprint is just as necessary.

2.       Build your social media presence

With consumers increasingly turning to social media for product recommendations or reviews before making a purchase, an online presence is essential for anyone looking to sell a product or service. As an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to use social media to position yourself, your brand, and your expertise as a leader in your particular field.

Boost your social media presence by ensuring your content is eye-catching and that it has the ability to resonate with your audience. Through this, you’re able to connect with your audience, prove your field knowledge, all while gaining exposure from doing so.

It’s not always easy to build up multiple platforms, which is why we advise picking one platform as your focus to begin with, and building it up slowly to ensure its success. Can’t decide which one to focus on? Pick the platform that plays to your strengths as well as that of your product or service. For example, if you sell beauty products, ensure that your platform allows you to best demonstrate the visual appeal of your products, whether it be via video or static imagery.

3.       Highlight your successes
Lastly, do not shy away from singing your own praises. If you believe your products are of high-quality, then tell your audience so. You need to promote your skills, abilities and products. Women, especially in the entrepreneurial sector, tend to struggle or feel uncomfortable with high levels of self-promotion, but in this day and age, there’s no time to be coy. With a world full of competitors, we cannot wait for others to speak positively about us, we need to make the noise ourselves and be our own biggest fans.

In closing, Precilla warns to be aware of the risks that come with having a strong personal brand and public platform. “While it can take years to build up a strong personal brand, all your hard work can be ruined in an instance of poor judgment. Therefore, it is critical to always be aware of the messaging that you are putting out and how it can be interpreted,” Precilla concludes.

How to Face Your Financial Fears


We all have things we ignore out of fear. No matter the reason, we often view it as easier to turn a blind eye to what’s plaguing us, than to face it head on.

While there are some things you can get away with ignoring, finances do not fall into that category. When it comes to those two, fearful inaction can quickly translate into disaster.

Many people cope with money stress by pretending their stress doesn’t exist.
So what is your greatest financial fear?  Does something immediately pop into your mind?

If you’ve been ignoring the debt collectors, spending beyond your means, or avoiding the tough conversations with your significant other, it’s time to tackle this issue, but in a way that will set you up to make the small steps towards change that are needed. And as with any fear, your financial terrors shouldn't rule your life.
1.  Ignoring problems won’t make them go away. Being proactive can help assuage this fear. The first step in confronting your financial fear is naming what really scares you about not having enough money. Is it fear of losing your house? Is it fear that you can’t afford necessities for your kids? Fear that you’ll never be able to retire? Breaking your fear down into basic elements reduces its power and this can put your worries in perspective and help you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Try grouping the issues together and the solutions will soon become clear.

2. Stop being so hard on yourself. So you over indulged and over spend your money. You are here now.  Today is what matters. Wasting your time and energy with self-criticism won't do you any good. Yes be mindful of your regrets – if you have to, write them down, like you did with your fears above – then forgive yourself and move on. Self-criticism is only helpful in small doses. Self-criticism in excess is crippling. It makes us freeze and prevents us from taking necessary action. Learn to be constructive so you can learn and grow, both from your financial mistakes and areas you want to improve.

ALSO READ: Money can't buy happiness but it does make life easier

3. Talk to someone.  It’s not very South African to talk about money, but you’ll be surprised how many people are feeling exactly the same as you. Speak to a trusted friend or family member or your financial planner. You'll soon realise that the stigma or isolation you feel is false. And they could have some helpful financial advice from either their own experiences or learned advice on how to get out of debt. And if your worries start to affect your health, please talk to your GP.

4. Don't neglect your health. When stress or anxiety gets the best of you, it’s easy to neglect basic needs, which can make your situation feel even worse than it is. Make sure you’re still getting adequate sleep and eating properly. Avoid unhealthy coping strategies, such as self-medicating or over-indulging with food or alcohol. Stay in good shape mentally and physically and it will assist you in taking control of your finances and turning things around for the better.

5. Be realistic. Unless you win the lottery, your money problems are not going to disappear all at once.  Having fears about your finances is entirely normal. Many of us have worried about money but, as with other fears in life, it's essential to manage your financial worries. By being proactive and honest with yourself, you can make your financial situation less intimidating and more manageable.

When you confront your financial fears and look at what is present for you, that’s when you can start to have your breakthroughs.
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