Yerusha Carsten & Jaco Louw | Maatla Signs
“It has been an experience I will always hold on to”
Located in Kathu in the Northern Cape and established in 2017, Maatla Signs specialises in industrial signage, road demarcation, branding, corporate clothing and gifts, PPE and vehicle branding. Founding partner and director Jaco Louw studied graphic design and comes from a family of entrepreneurs, while CEO Yerusha Carsten has corporate marketing experience and came on board in 2019.
Both have faced their fair share of challenges. For Jaco, it was coming to grips with the realities and responsibilities of owning a business and the steep learning curve when starting out. He experienced difficulties in moving his mindset from being a technician to being a manager and then to being a director, and has also had to become willing to learn new aspects of business such as finances and human resources. Yerusha has found that, as a female, she hasn’t always been taken seriously as a businessperson. Having moved to Kathu with her husband in 2014, she had to network in a new town and learn about the business culture of the area. She has had to overcome fear and doubt and learn to continuously push herself as an entrepreneur.
In 2019, the two partners started on REISA’s Step Change programme which is powered by leading business incubator Raizcorp and have gained valuable lessons and insight. Yerusha says, “I’ve learned to believe in myself even more. The Raizcorp team identified my strengths and areas of growth and assisted in developing these. I love that I can now read and analyse our management accounts to assist me in making strategic decisions. I’ve looked forward to every training and guiding session. It has been phenomenal.”
Jaco continues, “The programme has taught me to look at our business from different angles, to ask difficult questions and then address them head on! All the courses we did were relevant and of utmost value to our company and me, as an entrepreneur.”
Since starting on the programme, Maatla Signs has tripled their monthly sales figures and their staff complement has increased by more than 50%.
Yerusha says, “To our sponsor REISA, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you! It has been an experience I will always hold on to in my life and business journey.” Jaco adds, “We were constantly amazed by the depth and quality of training material and the skills of the mentors. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for this opportunity. It has been an amazing experience.”