Leigh-Ann Veale and The Social Bear:

The Social Bear is a boutique company which offers social and digital marketing services to small businesses in South Africa. Leigh-Ann has always been interested in digital marketing, and how you’re able to use digital tools to build brands online. “Having studied marketing management, my business partner and I found common ground with our interest. The aim was to assist businesses in getting their business seen by the right people and ultimately increasing their bottom line.”

What are some of the challenges that small business owners experience?

“As a small business owner in South Africa, we find our business up against huge competitors. I also find it quite challenging to create valuable connections with potential clients that larger business competitors with bigger business resources may be able to create. In terms of combating the connection challenges, we ensure that we get our offering across in a way that sets us apart from our competitors, gives us an extra edge and allows potential clients to feel comfortable collaborating with us.”

She continues, “in addition to the above, we have limited human resources and have had to monitor our capacity carefully. We need to ensure that our turnaround service exceeds expectations. This sometimes means that we need to outsource certain services in order to maintain our efficient reputation.”

How do you believe young minds like yours are making a difference in the startup space?

“I believe that millennials are feisty, go-getters in the current market space. With goals set more around being happy in the workplace, rather than simply just earning a living, younger generations are taking a stand and creating their own opportunities. There are so many resources available to allow new-age business owners to be savvier in the market and provide solutions to the consumer, efficiently.”

Words of encouragement for students who feel like they have lost hope?

Staying confident and motivated can be overwhelming from time to time, but Leigh-Ann encourages new business owners to keep up the fight every day. “Success doesn’t happen overnight, and it may not be the easiest journey, but with consistent effort, the rewards will slowly reveal themselves.”