Briefly introduce yourself, what is the nature of your business?

I qualified at the University of the Free State as a biochemist with a second major in microbiology. My first job was as a microbiologist at Johannesburg Water and I later joined AECI. Towards the end of 2019, I left the company to start Microbiome, which is a microbiology laboratory. I’m based at Riversands Incubation Hub.

What inspired the launch of your business?

Always dreamt of being my own boss. Now in that position, I’m excited about my future prospects.

How did you know there was a market for it?

Friends kept commenting on the poor service they received from established microbiology labs and asking me to start a business.

Clifford Thupuli, Microbiome Founder
Clifford Thupuli, Microbiome Founder

How did you raise startup capital?

I’ve used my own money to buy all the equipment I need.

Describe your business model and how you make money?

I make money by testing samples for microbiological safety. The services I perform are used in the cosmetics, paint and food industries – amongst others. My initial targets have been those industries which use a lot of water such as paint and cosmetics.

What challenges has the business faced and how did it overcome them?

Procuring the equipment I need to run my business has been the first challenge which I overcame by being patient, waiting for delivery.

What was the business’s first big breakthrough?

Having all my equipment delivered, installed and calibrated (by another Riversands Incubation Hub SME Montech Calibration Services) was my business’s first big breakthrough.

What online tools/apps is business using daily?

I’m still in the early stages of my business so I rely on the Outlook calendar as well as my phone to manage my day.

What marketing strategy has proven profitable for your business?

I visit clients in the industries I target.

What remains a challenge for your business today?

When I become ISO 17025 accredited that will be a breakthrough for my business because it will allow me to serve the food industry. The fact that I’m not yet accredited is a challenge.

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Author Muzi Mohale

Welcome to StarterJourney.com where I showcase small beginnings to inspire the next entrepreneur in you. It's a journey worth tapping into, many life lessons get to be experienced, money made and money lost...You're welcome to share your entrepreneurship journey with my audience.

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