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7 Up And Coming SA Businesses To Watch

Watch this space! Find inspiration from these seven of the top soon-to-be movers and shakers in South African business.




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Fashion Forward


Thabo Khumalo

Vital Stats 

  • Player: Thabo Khumalo
  • Brand: ToVch
  • Established: 2010
  • Visit: 

When you don’t have much more than sweat equity to invest, start-up marketing can be a huge challenge, particularly when you are in a cutthroat industry like local fashion. What do you do when you’re competing against trendy overseas brands and cheap Chinese imports, and you don’t have the budget for a big, exciting marketing campaign?

Building on his natural enthusiasm for social media, Thabo Khumalo has built a strong online network as the foundation of a marketing strategy for his fashion brand ToVch, which he describes as a gender-fluid, valiant approach to wearable day-to-day items, as well as more exclusive red carpet, couture, evening and cocktail dresses.

Khumalo launched ToVch in 2010, having taught himself cutting and sewing skills from the age of eight, while helping his seamstress mother with her business.

“On social media, people share your brand with others simply because they want to,” says Khumalo. “It’s a powerful platform, and it does not cost anything.” 

Top Lesson

“A great way to get your name out there without having to spend any money is by publishing great content on a regular basis. Remember to keep it industry specific,” explains Khumalo.

ToVch does not have masses of followers; instead, Khumalo has smaller audiences, and he communicates through targeted messaging with niche communities that make up the fashion industry — from fellow designers to customers and industry commentators.

“The brand has a dedicated audience, and the social media presence also allows me to continuously scan the fashion environment to keep up with external forces such as new technology, and political, legal, economic and social changes,” he adds.

For start-ups that market and sell highly visual products with strong design elements, like fashion, furniture and décor, images are everything. Social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Vine, can be extremely valuable. That’s where a picture really is worth a thousand words. They are also among the most powerful mediums, because people, not brands, drive the conversation.

Remember This

Create communities and drive conversation that will build brand awareness, by utilising social media platforms.

Read more on How Fashion Start-Up ToVch Built A Brand Presence With Only A Little Budget

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Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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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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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton



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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton



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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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