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Durban University of Technology (DUT) aims on producing adaptive graduates who are creative, innovative and entrepreneurial. Noluthando Shezi, (22), a second-year student in Fashion and Textiles from Imbali, Pietermaritzburg, has done just that by starting up a thrilling donuts business called Nolu’s Donuts.

In 2020 during the COVID19 lockdown, Ms Shezi started watching videos on YouTube of how to make donuts, through her keen observation skills and an entrepreneurial mindset, she decided to come up with her own unique recipe that suited Nolu’s Donuts. Nolu’s Donuts is a young, authentic female black owned baking business, which started with the love and passion of baking and pastry.

After starting up her fascinating business in 2021, she came up with an idea to sell them in the resident that she stayed in. Students liked her donuts and asked for more, this was a phenomenal response and it sparked her interest in baking.

“I would make about R500 a week, which was so helpful because I had no other source of income, I depended on National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) of which sometimes did not cover my basic essentials,” she said.

“My motivation behind my business is my daughter and my family. Having a child at a younger age did not only open my eyes but it pushed me to do better, and ensure that I give my daughter the lifestyle she deserves. Moreover, to ensure that my grandmother is well taken care of and to create employment for other people,”explained Shezi.

Nolu’s Donuts caters for everyone. According to Shezi, donuts are diverse, especially for people with a sweet tooth. That is why she call herself a “sweet tooth savior”.

Loadshedding is the biggest challenge that Shezi’s business face, so to overcome that challenge she makes sure that she has a loadshedding schedule and prepares orders according to it so that she won’t end up throwing away her baking products because they are damaged. Moreover, being a student and a business woman is very challenging but she has taught herself to multitask as much as she can. She makes sure that she prioritise her business as much as she prioritise her school work.

“My goal is to grow, have franchises around KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and possibly in other provinces. I also want Nolu’s Donuts to be known as one of the best baking restaurants around KZN, create employment as unemployment rates are very high in this country and giving back to the community is definitely on my to do list,” she said.

Shezi is impressed by the support she gets from DUT students since most of her customers are DUT students and a quarter is the community at large.

She shared the future goals for her business, she also named a few marketing tactics that she uses to market her business.

“I am in the process of growing Nolu’s Donuts, since I started by selling donuts only but now, I have ventured into selling cupcakes and birthday cakes. I always create a good clientele relationship with my customers, I give them the best experience with Nolu’s Donuts so they market my business for free using word of mouth. I also use different social media platforms to promote my business. To make sure my business is a success, I am going to get all the necessary training required to run a successful business. Moreover, my biggest wish is to get sponsors from the DUT Units that focus on growing young DUT entrepreneurs and get a proper training to manage my business,” she said.

For now, Shezi’s business does not have any sponsors but she is calling out for support from all different sponsors who are interested in funding her business.

Shezi shared her greatest accolades for this year, 2023.

“This year, Nolu’s Donuts collaborated with the DUT student owned delivery company called Door to Door deliveries where we will be delivering to all DUT campuses and residences,” she explained.

If one wants to order at Nolu’s Donuts, they can WhatsApp her on 0620458408 or call 0684582702.

Pictured: Noluthando Shezi.
Nomvelo Zulu.

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