CA Hazel Bango-Moyo’s calling is to help small businesses grow


Entrepreneur and CA Hazel Bango-Moyo believes that small businesses are how South Africa will grow and has dedicated her career to helping them achieve their goals.

Bubbly Hazel Bango-Moyo founded Primorial in 2017 to help small businesses expand by providing them with financial services advice: giving them help in areas such as filing their tax returns. More recently, she is the FD of the Woman of Stature Awards, and received an award in the Entrepreneur of the Year category last year. “It’s been quite a year,” she says.

Despite these accolades, Hazel – who comes across as humble and personable – is not someone who lives, breathes and eats her company, as she believes in balancing being a mom with running a company by managing expectations.

At Primorial, in addition to providing small business development, Hazel offers mentorship to women who are starting up their own companies or are in the workplace. She won the AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award 2022 after turning Primorial from a small startup into a thriving business.

Something else she counts as a win is qualifying as a CA. She was in grade 10 when the concept of becoming a CA crossed her path.

“In high school, when I decided that this is the career I’m following, I initially had no idea what a CA was. One of the matrics suggested the career because I was good at mathematics.”

Despite her research at the time, she didn’t fully understand the role and it was only when she started articles that she appreciated what it was to be a CA and an auditor. “It was only after I qualified that my mother actually started to understand what a CA does.”

At Primorial, where she is anything but a typical CA, she deals with many small clients, including those with a turnover of less than R2 million a year and are just starting up. For Hazel, this means that she has to grow her client base so that the company can be profitable.

One way small companies can keep costs down, says Hazel, is through using tools such as ChatGPT to write a short paragraph for a business plan and tweaking this later. She also encourages her staff to find alternative solutions to doing things, such as tax returns. One staff member found a different, although longer, way to do a return. Hazel was impressed at how much better the paperwork turned out and delegated this task onto him going forward.

“We are constantly working on how to offer quality professional services to small businesses at prices that they can afford. We do that through the use of technology. Everything around the business and how I do business, since leaving corporate, is very tech-focused.”

Conversations with children

When she talks about who she is as a person, she mentions family first. “For most of the hours of the day, I’m mom to two little people and two rescue fluffies.”

Her children, a tween and a teen, give her a hard time as is common with children of that age. Hazel takes it in her stride and ensures that she communicates effectively with them. She brings this philosophy into her day job as well, by ensuring that she manages clients’ expectations, which provides her with the balance a single mom needs in life.

A key lesson she has learned during her career is that she cannot be everything to everyone. “At the beginning of my career, I believed that a utopia existed, and I found myself simply chasing it.”

Around the time her children were entering primary school, she realised that this was not feasible. She couldn’t be a mom who attended 7am meetings and sewed elf costumes in the evenings. “After going through the craziness at the creche age, I realised that all I need to do is my best, so I choose to just do my best at home and at work.

“I’ve been working to not commit to things that I know, at the outset, I cannot do and cannot deliver, rather agreeing to a different deadline and trying to get the project to the client sooner. I also have to constantly talk to my children to let them know I cannot attend every violin recital, but that I will get another mom to record it so I can watch it later. It’s very important that I keep my word.”

Hazel started her career at Deloitte, where she did her articles as well as spending time there as audit senior in New York and as well as being a manager. “A large part of my career has been in the audit environment and moving from deadline to deadline in a male-dominated environment.”

Her interest in small businesses was sparked when she moved to the Industrial Development Corporation, which primarily seeks to contribute to the generation of balanced, sustainable economic growth in Africa and to economic empowerment of South Africans. However, she found she wasn’t having the impact on the economy that she wanted to have.

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