After having several of his business plans thrown into the bin by financial institutions, Eastern Cape businessman David Jacobs found himself unable to kick-start his chicken business because no-one believed in his vision.
But his fortunes changed when the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) gave him a chance, seeing that he had a wealth of experience in the retail and fresh produce market.
The ECDC gave Jacobs R500 000 in start- up capital to get his chicken business off the ground and almost a year later, the once demoralised businessman is in the process of opening a second franchise of the Kekkel en Kraai chicken outlet which specialises in fresh, frozen and grilled chicken.
For 12 years, Jacobs worked as a buyer of perishable goods at a leading retail chain and attributed his success to the experience and business lessons that he picked up along the way; lessons that also helped him understand his target market and how to keep the business afloat when sales are slow. “For years, I always wondered why I had to be the individual that was buying fresh and frozen chicken and sitting in that department for years and years, while my colleagues only stayed there for six months to a year.
“Now I understand why I had to be the one who was there for longer than everyone else. I’m now in the chicken business and the experience that I gained when I was employed is now serving me well.
“Without help from the ECDC, it would have been impossible to get this business off the ground. I had been to so many institutions who did not believe in my vision. ECDC took into consideration my vast experience in this industry and the determination I have to make this business a success,” he said.
And it was his 12 years of experience that really coined it for Jacobs, whose successful outlet in Uitenhage has hatched bigger returns. The corporation is now assisting him to open a new branch in Port Elizabeth.
Kekkel en Kraai opened its doors in October 2012, initially employing five people. The business now employs eight people.
Wayne Mahoney, the corporation’s senior account manager, said: “The business has demonstrated significant growth potential starting off with fi initial employees and growing to eight in under a year.
"Another key area is the location of the business. Kekkel en Kraai is situated at a taxi rank in Uitenhage, which makes the business accessible to many residents whom make use of public transport,” he said.