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Nic Socks: Nic Haralambous

Having co-founded and sold mobile social network builder, Motribe, Nic Haralambous is focusing on the foundations of style.

Monique Verduyn




Building an asset of value

In September last year, Africa’s largest mobile messaging platform and social network, Mxit, acquired Cape Town-based mobile community start-up Motribe, founded two years ago by Nic Haralambous and Vincent Maher. Motribe had been working with Mxit on various applications for the past year, and part of Motribe’s appeal was its ability to build compelling apps that users love.

An inspiring tale

It’s a great story that should provide motivation for other local start-ups, says serial entrepreneur Haralambous, who – with the profitable deal under his belt – has since gone on to launch a truly niche, delightful online store called Nic Socks which sells, you guessed it, a range of crazy colourful socks much like the ones he is known for wearing.

“Style starts with a decision,” says the website. Shoppers are advised “to consider every detail, and to entrust the big picture’s success to the smart, small decisions that get you there, starting with your socks.”

Proving a point

The socks are locally sourced, designed and manufactured. They’re made of silky, durable bamboo and each design is limited to a few hundred.

“I got tired of paying a fortune for imported socks and I knew we could do it cheaper and better locally, which is why I started the business. But I also set myself a goal. I wanted to see if I really had entrepreneurial chops, so I gave myself two months to build and launch an online business.”

Just get started

True to form, Haralambous did it in six weeks. He spent a grand total of R5 000 on designing, manufacturing and stocking the first batch of socks. He sold 800 pairs in ten days at R99 a pair.

“I wanted to shut up the people who say it’s too difficult to start a business in South Africa,” he says.

Online’s time has come

Haralambous’s goal is to up sales to 3 000 pairs of socks a month, and once he has a captive audience, to start branching out into matching outfits.

He cites Yuppie Chef’s Paul Galatsis as his e-commerce guru. “He says that if you have a niche product and you are able to get into e-commerce now, you will learn and grow with the market which is really taking off.”

With men’s fashion one of the fastest growing online e-commerce spaces globally, he’s undoubtedly on a sure footing.

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.

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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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