The Branson Centre is propelling
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the big time...
Entrepreneur: Cleopatra Simelane
|"Read all about it..."
|Meet the maker:
Cleopatra Simelane knows what she wants and
she knows how to get it. The team at the Branson
Centre remember, “We didn’t find Cleo; Cleo
found us. That’s the kind of proactivity we are
At just 23 years of age, she’s founded South
Africa’s newest “edutainment” magazine for 14-24
year olds. Far from being stuffed with the latest
celebrity stories, it combines fun articles with
features that tackle the challenges faced today
by young people like her.
The golden opportunity:
When asked why she started Recess, Cleopatra
remembers that she and her friends felt very
insecure in high school. They didn’t have a
reliable source of information to turn to that
informed them about the issues they faced.Recess was created to fill that gap. It’s becoming
a much-loved magazine that in Cleopatra’s words
is both ‘inspirational’ and ‘aspirational’.
It is inspirational in that it provides articles
with a life skills focus. It gives practical advice
for young people on how to grasp available
opportunities. It also provides coping mechanisms for those who struggle to deal
with difficult issues, from bullying to choosing a
Recess is ‘aspirational’ as it showcases role
models who have achieved success despite
barriers of race, class, gender and education.
Over and above this, Cleopatra is playing a key
role in shaping, defining and inspiring
an inclusive and optimistic picture of
|The business in a nutshell:
With its glossy cover and cool urban look and
feel, Recess can confidently compete with any
magazine on the news stand.
The magazine is freely distributed to 10,000
young people through the following mediums:
Recess generates enough advertising revenue to
cover its costs.
- Print distribution to 77 high schools within
Gauteng (one of the nine provinces of South
- South African Broadcasting Corporation
(distribution to 23 high schools that visit the
SABC for tours)
- Features are made available to 600 Facebook
- Copies are posted to 50 Recess subscribers
- An electronic version of the magazine is
emailed to 70 subscribers
||We didn’t find Cleo;
Cleo found us. That’s the kind
of proactivity that we are
||- The Branson Centre Team
How it’s helping the community:
The magazine provides two key benefits to the
community. First, it offers young people a lifeenriching
alternative to celeb-filled magazines,
arming them with information that supports and
educates them on difficult issues. It also expands
their horizons by showcasing positive role
models who’ve transcended the barriers young
South Africans face.
Secondly, it offers readers a chance to get
involved. Recess’s target market are actively
encouraged to contribute and generate content
for the magazine. In this way, the magazine acts
as a forum for their expression and offers an
opportunity to get published.
|The future looks bright:
Since Recess’s very first edition distribution
has been expanding. Cleopatra plans for even
more growth next year, provided she can secure
sufficient advertising revenue to fund her
She’d like to grow her team, too. Right now
design and printing are outsourced but, ideally,
Cleopatra would like to employ full-time staff
including a marketing and sales executive,
salespeople, a photographer, journalists, a proofreader
and a designer. She’ll also need legal and
financial advice on hand. All of which is creating
employment and hands on experience for up and
coming marketing and media students.
This enthusiastic go-getter is one to watch!
|How can you help:
Cleopatra would appreciate advice on a number
- Generating increased advertising revenue
- Identifying cost-effective distribution
- Mapping a strategy to continue producing
high quality content – a challenge with nonpaid
- Expanding the business – what sectors to
expand into and how to raise capital
- Developing a more effective time
management strategy – a common challenge
for many entrepreneurs. How should
Cleopatra prioritise, delegate and ensure that
trivial, mundane tasks don’t distract her from
the more important things that need to be
- Have some tips? Then emai them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Got what it takes to become a Branson Centre Entrepreneur?
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