| We sat down with Perciwell and engaged him about his journey and gained some insights about his hopes for the future. Here is what he had to say… |
Tell us about yourself and your background.
My name is Perciwell Van Staden, I am 29 years old and currently live in Actonville, Benoni. I come from the humblest of beginnings, and from a big family of about 6 siblings, to be exact. Having said that, and as life is for most of us, assisting financially at home was more important than attaining a tertiary education. So, I have been doing odd jobs since matriculating. This New Venture Creation (NVC) programme sponsored by Gauteng City Regional Academy (GCRA) has been my first real shot at changing the education status quo in my family. I have been committed and diligent in my endeavours.
How did you hear about The Da Vinci Institute?
I heard about The Da Vinci Institute and this programme through a close friend who was on a youth committee in my community. She encouraged me to apply as I had done well in matric but had missed out on tertiary because of financial strains and a failure to secure funding through NSFAS. I applied for the programme and DaVinci assisted with the application, and I was granted funding by GCRA and an opportunity to change my life.
How has your experience been as a student of The Da Vinci Institute?
My experience with The Da Vinci Institute has been nothing short of inspiring. From the induction event I took part in, it confirmed my wanting to be a part of this programme. The idea the school had with this NVC programme was simple and straightforward. Instead of using the resources to offer one person the skills to help make them employable, the idea was: how about using said resources to help put that same one person in a position where they can create employment and have a positive impact on their community – almost like shooting 10 birds with 1 stone.
In the 2+ years that I have been with DaVinci, I have had a complete shift in how I now view the world. Now, when I walk into a store, I can identify possible opportunities because I have an idea of how businesses are run. I investigate opportunities for improvement and for products or services lacking around me, as I have new systemic eyes (this is the best way I can describe it).
I started off with just being content with receiving a study allowance, to dreaming up a legitimate business idea, to now spending most of my free time working on my venture, tweaking it more and more with each new module we complete to the point where the idea is bigger but also more real than I could have ever imagined. The possible avenues I can now take my life to are invaluable.
What have you learnt from your electives in New Venture Creation?
I have been through marketing, financial management and management of innovation and technology, all of which have been of key importance. I constantly find myself coming back to what seems to be the central theme, which is the focus on self-mastery and self-management.
Almost all electives touch on the urgency to master yourself, to identify your strengths and weaknesses as knowing yourself is the same as knowing your capabilities, and everything else stems from there. I have realised that how one manages people and relationships may play a big role in one’s success.
What is next on your path of remarkability?
We are almost done with our second last module, thereafter we will partake in an incubation period for the next 6 months where we will run simulations of our proposed business ventures. I will focus all my energies on making this next 6 months an absolute success. The plan is to completely refine and perfect
my business model and plan putting together a brilliant pitch at the end of it all for an opportunity to secure funding, to officially launch my business and change one’s life and prospects.