Bethuel Lebeya is the founder of Command Quality, an IT business that specialises in quality assurance software.
What we love about Bethuel is not only his positive attitude and his desire to do his bit to make South Africa better (and work with like-minded people to do so), but his focus on increasing our country’s talent pool.
Around the world there is a skills shortage in the technology space and South Africa is no exception, but instead of complaining about a lack of skills in his sector, Bethuel spotted an opportunity.
“We went to market looking for young, talented graduates who needed a foot in the door,” he says. We’re all familiar with the challenge – graduates need experience to get a job but they need a job to gain experience. Command Quality is filling that gap.
Together with his business partner, Corné Koekemoer, Bethuel’s goal is to find talented youngsters with a computer science or engineering degree, upskill them in four months, and then help them work on real projects with big companies (thus creating meaningful employment).
Why is this important? Why should every South African care? Because our country has incredibly high levels of unemployment. This issue is spoken about a lot but few actually do anything about it. Then you get a small business like Command Quality that is going out of their way to help young people acquire additional skills so that they can create value in the market and gain employment.
Bethuel has a personal reason for wanting to help South Africa’s youth though – when he matriculated he was given an opportunity to prove himself and it changed the trajectory of his life. “I went to school because I hated the idea of herding cows and goats,” he tells us. “But after school I ended up on a farm as a labourer, picking and packing tomatoes. It was tough work and then one day I was watching the truck get loaded and they were counting boxes one by one. I did a quick calculation and told them how many boxes there were. They were impressed, particularly when I told them I had my matric. Then and there, I was promoted.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Bethuel wanted more, and he was willing to work for it. The fact that working hard – and smart – paid, served as a driving force to keeping pushing until his path eventually led to a computer science degree and finally to entrepreneurship. The desire to keep pushing, working hard and helping others has never left him. Such is the stuff that great South African businesses are made of.
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