Once a month in KZN and Gauteng, a workshop for budding or well established Entrepreneurs in the community is held under the Hirsch umbrella. The workshops are extremely well attended and Margaret is usually one of the keynote speakers. During networking sessions wannabe entrepreneurs often ask Margaret about borrowing capital to start up their business. She believes entrepreneurs should never borrow money to start a business. She says, eventually they would need to pay back the money with interest. “Start slow, use the money you have. Get what money you can, sell everything. And every cent you make, you plough back into the business.” She says.
Giving advice and guidance is something Margaret has been doing to many fledgling entrepreneurs over the years. Her knack for empowering everyone involved with the company is inspiring. In 1994 Hirsch’s decided to empower their drivers. The company sold their trucks to the drivers at a low price over an extended period. The ripple effect of this was that more than 20 delivery businesses have started up over the past 21 years, and these delivery businesses now employ more than 800 people.
With more than 2 000 people in their employ, Hirsch’s mostly invests in unqualified and in-experienced staff, turning them into motivated employees with sound goals. Objectives that are encouraged, include investing in their own homes to live comfortably. Values that are embedded with the staff are honesty, integrity and loyalty.
This leading businesswoman believes that entrepreneurs could make a difference in the future of the country. “I am passionate about business. I am passionate about South Africa and I think we as a country need to be strong. We as South Africans have to be entrepreneurs.”