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Entrepreneur Organisation (EO) South Africa: Allon Raiz

Three young entrepreneurs launch the South African chapter of EO

Juliet Pitman

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The Entrepreneur Organisation

Allon Raiz, the typically upbeat co-founderof Entrepreneur Organisation (EO) South Africa, attributes the successful launchof the organisation to some fortunate coincidences. This despite its difficultbeginnings.Founded almost 20 years ago in the US, EOis an international body with 6 000-plus members and 120 chapters in 40countries around the globe. Members are united in their common desire to growtheir businesses, learn from others and share their experiences. Two membersfrom affiliate body YPO (Young Presidents’ Organisation), Bernard Seef and Clive Silberg, initially identified Orrin Klopper and David Dworcan as potentialfounding candidates for EO in this country. Raiz’s name was suggested toKlopper by a mutual contact. “When he asked if I was interested in joining themand I asked who ‘them’ was, he told me it was himself and David, who happens tobe married to my wife’s sister. It was a serendipitous coincidence,” says Raiz.

Previously known as YEO (YoungEntrepreneurs’ Organisation), the organisation had already been launched inSouth Africa a few years back, but had failed. “When we applied to theinternational body to launch in South Africa again, we were told that if wewere serious about it, we had to raise US$50 000 first. That meant we had tocome up with half a million rand.” The three put together a value propositionand started knocking on doors. “Everyone we spoke to said it soundedinteresting but we couldn’t tell them who our members were or how many we hadbecause we didn’t have any!” says Raiz. “Eventually, after a year of no’s, wemet with Angie Chapman from Ernst & Young, who saw the light and providedus with sponsorship. Finally, we had the money we needed to launch.” Havingraised the funds, the founding members managed to get the requirement for theUS$50 000 quashed. “Now that we didn’t have to pay the amount, we had funds tostart something that could offer real value to members,” he adds. EO SouthAfrica was so successful in its founding year that it won the worldwide awardfor Best Start-Up Chapter.

The organisation has over 40 members and isgrowing at a rate of about three new members a month. Application criteriainclude being a founding member or major shareholder of a business that does anannual turnover of at least R8 million, and being 45 years of age or younger.Applicants go through a selection process and board interviews.Looking at EO’s membership offering, it’snot difficult to see why people apply. There are three legs: education,networking and something called forum. Raiz explains the education offering:“Locally, EO holds two events a month, one with a guest speaker of the likes ofGidon Novick or Tony Lamberti, and one more technically oriented event.Internationally, members can attend travelling universities where they areexposed to the world’s top entrepreneurs and business authors. They can alsotake part in the Birthing of Giants three-year programme and a mini-MBA offeredby top US universities.” In addition, each member is matched with a mentor fromthe World Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (WEO), all of whom are doyens of businessin their particular industry.

The networking opportunities provided by EOare unparalleled. Locally, members have access to everyone in EO as well asmembers from YEO and WEO. Internationally, they have access to a database andcontact details of all EO members worldwide. “You can contact the president ofan EO chapter anywhere in the world and ask to be set up with a particular member,” saysRaiz. “Forum, in my mind, is the most valuableand unique offering,” says Raiz. Eight to ten entrepreneurs from different(never competing) businesses make a forum, which stays together over manyyears. “You hold a weekly forum which is a very structured process ofengagement. You get to know each other and confidentiality is paramount. Youmay not talk about forum, who the members are or what was discussed in anyway,” he explains. “For people who know the loneliness of entrepreneurship,forum provides a space to talk about burning issues that you may not be able todiscuss with anyone else. You can take your problems there and for an hour, agroup of great business minds will help you to find a solution. It’sunbelievably powerful,” he adds. EO provides entrepreneurs with a place tocall home where they can grow, share challenges and interact with likemindedpeople. Fees amount to R16 500 a year which provides access to all EO servicesand events both nationally and internationally.

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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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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton

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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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