ORT Jet Beneficiary Story

Interview with Neliswa Chigudu

When and how did your business start?

“It started in 2018 after I had attended a course on the prevention of lifestyle diseases using the NEWSTART principles, which are the health laws. These health laws start from Nutrition as per the first letter of this acronym. From this, I learned how different foods affect our health, and I was compelled to play around in the kitchen with various brain foods as I suffered from a health condition so I decided to beat this condition by making a lifestyle change. And this is how my cereal developed. When I started to share it with other people beyond my family, I realized they loved it and wanted more of it, and that is when the business idea came along.”

What are the core functions of your business?

“Besides making breakfast cereals, I coach people on healthy eating and preventing diseases through applying the NEWSTART principles as I’m a health promoter.”

How were you introduced to ORT Jet?

“My husband had started a running club called UTANO. UTANO focused on developing elite runners from disadvantaged backgrounds. The club later got adopted by the Old Eds club when he looked for assistance and coaching from them. One of the members from Old Eds referred him to speak to ORT Jet and hear if they can’t help him, and that is where he picked up a flyer which was talking about helping small entrepreneurs and brought it to me to follow up on it, which is what I did, and rest is history.”

How was your mentorship journey at ORT Jet?

“The courses have been quite good, outstanding actually. The mentor that I got was superb. She assisted me as I was doing many things wrong, so because of her help, I have now managed to correct my mistakes.”

What stood out for you during the mentorship program?

“First and foremost, my labelling was wrong. We had to correct that from the word go. I had put some medical claims that were not supposed to be there. Hence, my mentor introduced me to someone at Facts SA, and I got a document on how I should label my product and how certain principles apply to labelling. After that, we had to do the nutritional testing, followed by packaging, designing and costing. Costing was another significant factor as I was using the wrong calculation for my pricing and, for those past two years, I was working at a loss. My mentor helped me with all those issues, as she got me into contact with her husband, a finance specialist, and he sat down with me and took me through how to do pricing. They also taught me that whoever complains about the price doesn’t understand the value of the product.”

 What would you say to the next person about ORT Jet?

“Utilize the opportunities that they give you; if they come your way, grab them with both hands and use them.”