Apart from having done work that led to UJ scooping up the Marketing, Advancement & Communication in Education (MACE) award for videography in 2015, the agency has also established itself as a thought leader in the small, micro, medium enterprise (SMME) sector. BWD has published a number of articles as well as presented speaking opportunities at industry gatherings such as the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week, Digital Marketing ExChange Conference, SOS-Children’s Villages International Conference and Marketing Your School in the 21st Century 2015 Conference.

BWD is also included in the Memeburn Guide to SA Digital Agency Landscape - a recognised industry platform that acknowledges and lists digital agencies that have made strides in the sector in the past year.

At the helm is Bongani Gosa, founder and creative director, whose journey with entrepreneurship spans back over 15 years, and whose third shot in business now places his creative agency as a progressive SMME which has survived despite the many statistics that talk to the declining numbers of SMME participation in the South African economy.

The agency provides total communication services in digital marketing, from research and development of digital communication strategies to the engineering and roll out of relevant digital tools – to drive and support it. The company has fully fledged offices in Fancourt Office Park, 12 permanent employees, six temporary interns, an established network of specialist associates, plus an in-house photography studio and high-tech equipment and resources to produce corporate videos and animated explainer videos. Their client base ranges from start-ups to blue chip companies and conglomerates across all industries.

“Our 10 year success story is one characterised by determination, disappointments, trial and error but most of all the untouchable determination to continue. It has not been an easy ride, much credit goes my competent, passionate and efficient team that I hand-picked to drive the agency's vision forward. I have allowed myself to move away from the daily operations of the business to focus on the strategic direction and growth of the agency - therefore creating space for me to be on the business and not so much in it,” says Gosa.

Gosa states one of the biggest challenges faced by his and other smaller agencies is landing the business-to-consumer (B2C) clients as most of them prefer deploying the services of the larger agencies. “We pride ourselves for having demonstrated the ability to find ways to deliver in our business and that is to create business solutions that resolve our client's business problems. Competition to gain consumer's attention increases every day in our space and in the space of our clients. We guide our clients to be proactive in promoting their brands through responsive website designs that contain relevant, updated and interactive content for their audiences to increase their revenue.”

In hindsight, Gosa says he would have invested more time and money into marketing and networking to avoid the first two business failures. “My first business idea came to me when I was 16-years-old when I decided to sell dung, from my father’s cattle, to my neighbours and community to green their dried-out gardens and lawns. The notion of finding solutions for people's problems has always been, and still remains, my drive for waking up in the morning to run this agency.”

With BWD he went for expert assistance to improve all business processes and implemented formal project management principles in every single aspect of the business to ensure optimal service delivery. He also constantly hires specialists in the various disciplines - that apply to a full-service digital marketing agency. In addition, he spends a significant portion of the business budget on focused marketing and communication efforts.

Gosa’s battles would not have been so significant if he had a mentor. Today, he is passionate about sharing the lessons he learnt with other SMMEs as they are the engine of our country’s economic growth. And he believes that the lessons he personally learnt could be invaluable to other entrepreneurs who are also fighting for survival in the business jungle. “The knowledge torch you pass on - is the legacy you leave behind,” he enthuses.

In July 2015, BWD launched its Graduate Development Programme that saw five graphic design students from different schools gain their very first taste of an actual business environment. This initiative will now be rolled out every year. BWD is also rolling out a new business mentorship programme (NPO) in 2016 named ‘Each One Teach One’ that that will offer mentorship to small business owners by those who are more seasoned in business experience. The idea was inspired by Bongani’s own struggles to establish himself as an entrepreneur for going on 15 years.

For more information, visit www.bwd.co.za. Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.