Change is in your pocket

The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.
PITCH:  Hout Bay
AGE:  65

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

“I am honoured to be vendor of the month, and my journey as an entrepreneur has been so wonderful. I think I have been nominated as vendor of the month because I am one of the entrepreneurs who hasn’t stopped selling the magazine since day one. Besides that, I feel I’m vendor of the month everyday because my customers motivate me, they are lovely and jolly people.

“What I love the most about this kind of work is that I serve people who always look forward to getting the magazine, and their smiles lift my spirits.

“In my spare time, I visit my children or vice versa. I spend most of my time at my pitch. My work is also my hobby. I’m at a happy place and I don’t see retirement anytime soon. I have made brothers and sisters out of other entrepreneurs.”

Joseph Klink

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Vendor of the month Joseph Klink (65) has been a Big Issue entrepreneur for two decades. He sells the magazine near Mainstream Mall in Hout Bay. He shares his entrepreneurial journey with us.

“I started selling The Big Issue magazine a year after the organisation opened its doors. I was a bit sceptical about it, thinking that it’s one of those things that will fail, close its doors and let the people that depend on it down. But that wasn’t the case.

“I was uneasy about being a Big Issue entrepreneur, but I didn’t have much choice due to a lack of education and being paralysed in one hand. So I took the opportunity, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

STARTING FROM THE BOTTOM

“It was a challenging start, as I had no experience in sales. I didn’t know how to persuade people to buy the magazine and was clueless about budgeting with an income that differed from day to day.

“People would get so agitated and annoyed, but you can’t blame them. It’s not easy trusting someone who sells anything in the streets. As time went by, I built up a clientele and my customers were very supportive; in fact, they still are.

“The staff and other entrepreneurs at The Big Issue offered me support that I never imagined I’d receive, and 20 years later I’m a pro in this business – there’s no turning back.”

 

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