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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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1. I Am Emerge Provides An App For Township Spaza Bulk Purchasing

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Spaza shops do around R9 billion worth of business annually. They are the backbone of township economies, but the lack of credit, vulnerability to crime and not being able to compete with big retailers are serious challenges they face daily.

I Am Emerge’s award-winning app Vuleka, taps into the collective buying power of township spaza shop owners, aiding them in ordering goods directly from manufacturers and benefiting from bulk discounts.

“The goods are cheaper than they would be from wholesalers, so we save them time and money,” says Brian Makwaiba, MD of I Am Emerge. “Where there are spaza shops who don’t have technology, we have youth marketers to take their orders manually.”

I Am Emerge does the legwork, including negotiating with manufacturers, warehousing orders and delivering their purchases. The network of spaza shops spans three of Gauteng’s biggest townships: Alexandra, with around 500 members, Soweto with over 4 500 and Tembisa with around 2 000.

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Nicole Crampton is an online writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. She has studied a BA Journalism at Monash South Africa. Nicole has also completed several courses in writing and online marketing.

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