Jennifer Classen enjoyed a long career as an executive of a blue chip retailer and a franchise business developer in various African countries, including South Africa. But after 27 years in the corporate world, she traded her corporate ‘hat’ for an ‘entrepreneurial’ one. Inspired by a passion for people and product, in 2008 she founded Ngaphaya Y2K10 (meaning BEYOND 2010), a sourcing and procurement company focusing on specialized, customized and technically complex products. It offers computer hardware, asset management systems, industrial equipment and bespoke items.
Classen combines her vision for her business with solid people skills. She has committed herself to leading a life of purpose, which she defines as a proactive and productive focus on building long-term relationships with her customers, stakeholders and staff alike. As part of her company’s growth plan, Classen’s strategy is to develop meaningful win-win business relationships with international ICT companies represented in South Africa to investigate the possibility of becoming an accredited reseller of hardware. Jenny has also seen and moved on varied opportunities during COVID 19, moving quickly to obtain partnerships that allowed her to supply masks and sanitizers to her client base.
As a Proudly South African 100% Black Women-Owned business with 11 employees, she made contact with WEConnect International in South Africa via UPBEAT marketing. She recognized the opportunity certification could offer her business, specifically opening doors to the right people within corporate South Africa. She sees WEConnect International certification as an investment in her business and knows that her company will continue to derive value from it. Jenny believes she gets enormous value from the network of women business owners she has now worked and collaborated with for many years across varied business opportunities.
With a client base that includes Metrorail, Eskom, the Western Cape Education Department, the South African Navy and Armscor, Ngaphaya Y2K10 has continued to deliver good results even in tough economies. In 2012, company sales broke the R5-million barrier. True to her commitment to a life of purpose, she set up a trust that offers a yearly bursary of R10 000 to a previously disadvantaged student.
Two years later, Classen continued to capitalize on her entrepreneurial drive along with her community focus. She saw the difficulty that small businesses experience in accessing finance and turned it into an opportunity. In 2014, she started a second company which offers finance to women-owned SMMEs. This financing model empowered women-led SMMEs to grow their businesses through improved access to finance at favourable terms.
Known for how she‘walks the talk,’ Classen has received numerous awards for her unusual tenacity. She is well respected as a mentor to multiple entrepreneurs in her community and regards mentoring as part of her daily entrepreneurship journey.
For more information, visit www.ngaphayay2k10.com