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Local Start-Up Gets Pay Back

Three tech entrepreneurs find success in a pay-to-tweet business that’s rapidly evolving. Luyanda Jafta explains how.

Juliet Pitman




How does Paybook work?

Paybook is a conversational marketing company that allows advertisers the opportunity to interact with their market by utilising social media.

Simply put, its a pay-to-tweet platform where we pay 3c a follower to our subscribers for tweeting about our clients’ brands. We focus primarily on the teenage and young adult market, which are very active on social media and, more importantly, determine what is ‘cool’.

This market views traditional advertising as annoying spam and Paybook developed out of a need we identified to help advertisers regain traction in this market.

Where did the idea come from?

It grew out of an initial business idea I had when I was at university and I started wondering if it would work if you paid people to endorse brands.

What didn’t come easily?

We needed to work out what a tweet should be worth. That was tough because there is no agreed upon model in the market. Then we had to educate the market about why that pricing structure made sense.

How has it evolved?

Building on the pay-to-tweet model, we’ve developed a number of other platforms including Life Jingle, which connects musicians with brands to develop jingles; Paybook BlogLog that connects bloggers and advertisers; Pic cha Pay which is a photo branding platform; and Paybook Evo, a gaming platform that encourages users to find out more about brands in return for prizes.

Was there ever an instance where you had to change tack because something wasn’t working?

We realised that we had a great value proposition for subscribers (the people we pay to endorse brands) but that we needed to strengthen our offering to clients. This is why we came up with the different product platforms mentioned earlier.

What were the key challenges you faced?

Initially we thought our biggest hurdle was lack of funding. But we quickly realised that it’s possible to think your way out of a business crisis if you just use a bit of creativity. Having access to the capital you need can actually be a bad thing for a start-up because it constrains your ability to problem-solve.

What advice would you give other start-ups?

I’d tell black entrepreneurs to stop relying on BEE. Rely on yourself and your ability to forge relationships with people. Rely on having a good product. Relying on BEE just spoils good people who may otherwise be talented enough to be successful on their own.

Vital stats

  • Players: Mendy Nkosi, Zamo Tshabalala and Luyanda Jafta
  • Company: Paybook
  • Est: 2012
  • X-factor: Innovative platforms that offer subscribers cash in return for building and endorsing clients’ brands.
  • Contact:; +27 (0)11 025 8166

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Profiting from July Fever. Read the Story Here


Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


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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