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GreaterGood South Africa: Tamzin Ractliffe

A Not-For-Profit Company That Delivers Performance-Driven Value

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Tamsin Ratcliff of The Greater Good

There is a perception that not-for-profit companies are not businesses. Dispelling that perception is Tamzin Ractliffe, a former stock exchange investment analyst, who, together with business partner Carol Tappenden, has founded a not-for-profit business which not only delivers a sound value proposition, but also ensures that the people it employs are well paid for their services.

This company is GreaterGood South Africa. It offers a selection of bona fide non-profit organisations for businesses and individuals to engage, and the South African Social Investment Exchange (SASIX) which provides detailed investment analysis of specific charities or causes. Ractliffe says that while she was working at the JSE and later as an analyst at a venture capital company, she had a strong sense of the disparity between the privilege that surrounded her and the suffering of others. “I wanted to heal the world,” she says, a little drily. Having spent three years in the United Kingdom, Ractliffe returned to South Africa a decade ago. With degrees in Commerce and Psychology, she wanted to do something which would enable her to make use of both skills sets, while also giving something back to society. “The idea behind GreaterGood was to facilitate giving and social investment. We needed to establish a mechanism to see what was being done; everyone has something to give, but do companies and individuals know where to go, how to go about giving,” she says.

SASIX took that a step further. A SASIX report modelled on an investment report provides a full due diligence study of the charity or institution to which a contribution is being considered. Concepts that apply to any other investment decision, such as risks, reward and value, are presented. “You wouldn’t make an investment without this information. Why should CSI (Corporate Social Investment] be any different?” Noting that any entrepreneur starting a business should have the confidence in it to invest their own money, she says initial funding came straight out of her bond. “I was working in a consultancy business at the same time, so GreaterGood was a night time job for which we developed a system which allowed us to cope.” Ratcliffe says it was never frightening to have her house at stake. “We never experienced this as a gamble but rather as an obvious thing to do, which someone else would get started if we did not. The stakes have become higher though,” she explains, “As we now have 23 staff members.” Stressing that the business model for her organisations are based on sound commercial principles, Ractliffe points out that many people believe that non-profit organisations should not pay staff. “We cannot be here purely out of the goodness of our hearts. We have homes to run and kids to feed and we provide a service which offers a clear value to our clients and which is performance-driven. We’re also not ‘holier than thou.’ We work very hard and the profit we show is a social, rather than financial one. All of our people are remunerated for their efforts, and I can assure you that like any other business, we value and demand high productivity from each and every staff member.”

This is a model she feels should be applied to any charity or non-profit organisation. “Investors in charities have a right to know the value they are getting. The charities too, have a responsibility to make the best use of their funds, and even to look for opportunities to earn by creating services or products which can be sold. This is how sustainability can be achieved,” she says. Applying this logic, SASIX generates 25% of its own revenue; within three more years, it should be self-sustaining. Perhaps the greatest challenges faced by her organisations are the reality of wanting to do more for society with limited resources. “We seek to make meaningful and lasting changes in the lives of those who are less fortunate,” she says. Furthermore, the ‘welfare’ sector tends to have a perception that it is ‘deserving’. “That is not enough. There has to be more, such as the willingness to help oneself and to demonstrate the return. Also, we face difficulty sometimes since some elements of business and non-profit seem to believe that the normal rules [of society and business] don’t apply.” Contact:  +27 21 794 0580; www.GreaterGoodSA.co.za & www.SASIX.co.za

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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.

CEOwise

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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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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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