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Fives Futbol: Adam Fine

Smart partnerships play a key role in bringing the world’s fastest-growing form of football to South African shores.

Juliet Pitman

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A smart-thinking entrepreneur has leveraged the global phenomenon of five-a-side football to start a business that’s growing almost as fast as the game itself.

As Adam Fine, founder of Fives Futbol explains: “Five-a-side football is the fastest-growing form of football in the world. In the UK roughly 200 000 people play every week and the two market leaders who run five-a-side pitches in the UK are both listed. It’s played on all-weather purpose-built synthetic grass facilities which are about a quarter of the size of a traditional football pitch. It’s more accessible than conventional soccer.”

Recognising the success of fives football in foreign countries, others have tried to launch the concept in South Africa and failed. Fine’s model is slightly different and includes a strong focus on corporate social investment and delivering a positive social impact.

By forming smart strategic partnerships he’s managed to open Fives Futbol pitches in prime locations that serve both the school and corporate markets, while still being accessible for social impact interventions in local communities.

One such partner is Rabie Construction, which paved the way for the Century City site. Other sites include those in Mouille Point, Tableview, the V&A Waterfront and two in Sunningdale. A partnership with Liberty Properties will see a new site opening in Mitchells Plain.

Fine has also signed a deal with Discovery Soccer Park, the only other major local competitor. Future ventures will be split 50/50 and will come under the Fives Futbol brand. “This deal makes us the market leader and opens up opportunities for considerable growth in the rest of South Africa and Africa.”

It’s a great deal for someone who started the business at only 17 when he was studying in the UK. “I ran it from the UK initially and that was really challenging, but being young my attitude was always, ‘What have I got to lose?’

I saw an opportunity and did all I could to get in front of the influential people in the industry – from talking my way into major football conferences for free to sneaking into VIP boxes. Where there’s a will and a good business idea, I believe there’s always a way.”

Top Tip

One of the key things we’ve done differently is to pick our locations very carefully. Many people who have tried to launch five-a-side pitches in South Africa chose schools, but schools are based on council land which means a lot of red tape.

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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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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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