Entrepreneur, investor and group co-CEO of The Creative Counsel, Ran Neu-Ner has personally pledged R50 million to assist young entrepreneurs develop and grow their businesses.
The recently awarded 2016 Top Performing Business Leader (by the National Business Awards), says talented entrepreneurs are being thwarted by the red tape of financial institutions, to the detriment of the country’s economic development.
“Funding is the first of two major issues for start-ups. The second is the dire lack of mentorship. The country is losing a lot of bright young people with great ideas to white and blue collar jobs because there is inadequate support yet it is this potential that could be creating more jobs and solving unemployment,” say Neu-Ner. “This latent potential must be realised, which is where I hope to have an impact.”
Neu-Ner has partnered with Suits and Sneakers, an informal inspirational learning and networking platform, to manage applications, assist with training, and provide mentorship for the shortlisted candidates. Suits & Sneakers will house the Ran Neu-Ner Fund under its Impello Incubator programme. The first R10 million investment will be disbursed in the first quarter of 2017 and the balance by the end of 2017.
“I have no doubt that we will come across amazing, innovative ideas and interesting entrepreneurs who have never been given a chance to dream the impossible. I am looking forward to working with Impello, who are masters at supporting start-ups by offering ongoing informal education, networking events, mentorship and business resources,” says Neu-Ner.
Applications are open to young entrepreneurs who have business ideas or those who have already started their enterprises. Applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The application must include the type of business, background on the entrepreneurs, financial history of the company if applicable and the financial focus of the business.
A team will review applications and shortlist viable ideas and businesses. A short list of eight entrepreneurs will then be mentored and trained in preparation for a formal pitch to highly experienced panel, which will collectively make the decision as which candidates will receive funding.