KELLY Ferreira, formerly from Port Alfred, won the prestigious Emerging Entrepreneur prize at the Business Woman Association Awards 2017/Investec Regional Business Achievers Awards this week.
Ferreira founded the Khula Kids Education Brand last year, followed by the launch of her project Khula Kids Playschool in January. The vision for the brand is to help develop and implement programmes which can prepare children for the fast-paced world out there, by giving the children an opportunity to grow and reach their full potential.
At the end of the 2015 academic year, she resigned as a high school teacher and decided to start her own business.
“I did not allow myself much time to prepare, and literally hit the ground running at the beginning of 2016,” Ferreira told TotT.
Her parents, Ilse and Llewellyn Wicks, were her subtle influence when it came to starting her own business. Growing up in Port Alfred, her parents owned and ran their own businesses.
Ferreira said: “I always admired their hard work and dedication, and somewhere at the back of my mind I always knew that I would strive to follow in their footsteps and start my own business too.”
The school has adopted a learn-through-play programme and currently accepts about 30 children under the age of four and has a staff of eight women.
“Our staff to child ratio is high – further enabling quality, individual attention every day,” Ferreira said.
The school is located on 87 Main Road, Walmer in Port Elizabeth and is the official feeder playschool into other pre-primary schools within the suburb, which then feed into schools such as Clarendon and Grey primary schools.
Starting a business does not come without its obstacles, as Ferreira said that accessing capital as a small business owner does not come without its difficulties.
“I also believe that finding employees who share your values and your vision isn’t a quick and easy process, and this also provides some teething issues along the way,” she said.
As we raise children, we are grooming the leaders and pioneers of the future
She firmly believes that as a business owner one never stops trying to grow their business, as it is an on-going process where there are often many twists and turns along the way.
Khula Kids Education Brand is a growing business brand and there are many markets in which they intend to extend their brand in the years to come. “We work closely with a number of roleplayers and professionals in child development, and this means that we are always engaged in exciting new projects and programmes,” Ferreira said.
Her passion for education and child development help to propel her in her mission to keep growing the brand in different directions.
“As we raise children, we are grooming the leaders and pioneers of the future,” she said, adding that she believes investing in children’s education should remain one of society’s top priorities.