Goodenough Ngcobo promised himself he would run his own business before he turned 40. At 39 he had done exactly that, convincing his employer Woolworths, to help him launch a transport business he calls People’s Choice. After many years as an employee at Woolworths (in Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal), Ngcobo identified a gap that he thought presented a good business opportunity. Woolworths hires palletes to transport its grocery product from suppliers to the Woolworths Distribution Centre in Westmead. The retailer is obliged to return the empty palletes to the Isipingo-based company which manufacturers them. Ngcobo determined he could increase the rate of return of the pallates and bring down the costs involved in their transportation. “I told Woolies; I have been with you for 15 years. I believe you can see my potential as a business man. But in order to do this I need your support. Here is my business plan. They listened and I haven’t looked back,” explained Ngcobo. Woolworths provided Ngcobo with a loan which allowed him to buy a truck. He launched his transport business in 2010, and now employs 6 people. He has bought a second truck which will allow him to be more flexible and offer a better service to his growing list of customers. Woolworths choice Matt Keogh, Woolworths Group Director: Human Resources and Transformation: “We agreed to support Goodenough’s business for two reasons. Firstly, Woolworths is deeply committed to supporting previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Secondly, his proposal made commercial sense to us. He offered us an excellent solution to an operational problem.” The future As you can imagine, Ngcobo’s plans for People’s Choice are far from small. Ngcobo also runs three taxis and a shop from his home in Pinetown. He plans to expand the transportation of the pallettes to other retailers, and venture into distributing stock. People’s Choice is business to watch; all of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs start small but have a big vision, just like Goodenough Ngcobo. Ends Notes to editor: We support enterprise development as part of our Good business journey. Woolworths Good business journey is a comprehensive long term plan centred on four key priorities; accelerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing Woolworths environmental focus and addressing climate change. It is Woolworths ongoing plan to make a difference in our communities, our country and our world. Please visit www.woolworthsholdings.co.za for more information.

Goodenough Ngcobo promised himself he would run his own business before he turned 40. At 39 he had done exactly that, convincing his employer Woolworths, to help him launch a transport business he calls People’s Choice.