CAPE TOWN. – Lynn Maggot undoubtedly has the Midas-touch, for everything this small business developer and implementer of start-up business programmes has touched the past 20 years, has turned to gold.
Maggott will deliver the keynote-address at the second webinar of 1000 Women Trust, in collaboration with Pick ‘n Pay, on the 1000 Women Restart-initiative geared at assisting women to restart businesses and receiving new skills to become more employable or become linked to business mentors.
The second webinar of 1000 Women Restart is entitled Investing in Women and will be hosted virtual and in zoom on 18th August. It starts at 12:30.
Maggott completed a diploma in cost and management accounting at CPUT, and subsequently worked at the global organization Warner-Lambert, which later became the number-one pharmaceutical company globally, Pfizer.
Her career took off in the role of business planning and analysis and at the age of 25, she found herself in a middle management position.
“I started as a costing clerk, then went on to become a financial controller and later started developing strategic plan for the organization,” she says.
Later she worked for Yardley in London.
At the age of 40, she had to answer the question what her purpose in life was. She realized he only purpose was working for an incentive bonus in the corporate field and consequently decided to move on.
Maggott started her first business, a tourism country, but when the crippling global financial crisis came in 2008, she got the opportunity to be part of the company Green Cab, focusing on using alternative transport to reduce carbon emissions.
Again, the question about her purpose in life challenged her to change course mid-career. She set up a business incubator in a township in Kimberley, where her passion to develop businesses was ignited.
The new business, the Green Connexion, was about finding opportunities to advance the green economy. The mission was to try and educate people at grass roots level to turn to the green economy, but also make them aware of the opportunities and the markets that exist in that field.
She is involved in several projects, including one in the Overberg to create waste entrepreneurs. Part of her incentive is to create markets and access to the markets for the waste entrepreneurs.
She helps several businesses to reduce the environmental footprint.
There is a community garden thriving in Handover Park, and then there is an entrepreneur collecting computers from companies, repair them and create a market for more affordable computes in Khayelitsha.
Maggott has worked in setting up and operating incubation centres as well as designing, launching and implementing start-up business programmes. She has worked in rural and township communities and is presently managing a program of formalizing and growing businesses of informal traders.
What could women do who lost their jobs during lockdown do to restart?
“The first thing I would do, is to assess their business, who are their customers, what are their challenges, and do they have the right systems in place. Make sure their pricing is right.
“Currently, I am working with two cohorts of business. The one is informal traders in Mitchells Plain and I help them to get their businesses to the point of sustainability.
“The other one is traders at the Watershed in the Waterfront where the trades that is totally dependent on the tourism industry. I am working with them to find and source new markets,” Maggott says.
One asset that has assisted Maggott to become the managing director of two award-winning companies during her lifetime, has been her ability to change things in her life that hindered her progress.
While she was in middle management at Yardley in London, she realized that she was surrounded by white managers in the board room and that she had doubted herself and was sometimes stumbling when she was speaking.
She confided in one of her mentors, who advised her to do a Dale Carnegie-course.
“I finished the course and then the light bulb went on. That boosted my confidence, it proved to be a turning point of my life, and I never looked back,” she says. “A mentor can bring out the best in you,” she added.
“When I work with small businesses, I not only work on business, but I also establish a relationship of trust in mentees, and assist them to overcome weaknesses,” Maggott says.
People who attended the first webinar of 1000 Women Trust and Pick ‘n Pay and require industry mentors and want to start or restart a business or improve their employability, can Whatsapp 073-2079079.
Please visit the 1000 Women website on www.1000women.co.za
The themes of the rest of the August-webinars are; Investing in Women (18th August) and Women Empowerment (25th August).
Women who want to join the 1000 Women Restart initiative, can do it for free by registering for the August-webinars. People who want to join the August-webinars, can register on https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1507470118.