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Success by Design

Local start-up focuses on brand building – for themselves and their clients.

Nadine Todd




The entrepreneurs

Adam Botha and Steve Bakker had been talking about starting their own business for years. While they were both in very different places (Botha worked for a large corporate agency and Bakker was a freelancer) they had a common dream: To own their own business, work with the clients they chose and hopefully make a difference to other SMEs and start-ups in the process.

Forming a partnership

Botha brings big-agency experience to the business, is well-versed in creating corporate IDs, and in how overall brand values and business strategies should inform branding, marketing and advertising decisions.

His biggest goal: To find a healthy balance between a strong, dedicated work pace and loving what he does.

Bakker has a strong online background, with design and marketing experience. His biggest goal: To move away from freelance work where each and every potential client is taken on to ensure work flow, and create a sustainable business built on a strong brand and clear vision.

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Meet the Man Who is Assisting SMEs with Growth Funding. Read the Story Here


The vision

“We recognised a big gap in the market amongst start-ups and SMEs. On the one hand, we both wanted to be able to help new business owners, or more established businesses that hadn’t really focused on their branding and marketing efforts before, and on the other hand we wanted to create a clear target market for what we have to offer,” says Botha.

Getting started

The partners approached incubators like Property Point and The Business Place in Johannesburg. “We’ve identified incubators because the start-ups and SMEs at incubators are who we have designed our service offerings around, and the close-knit community is an excellent way to receive referrals,” says Botha. “In many cases we’ve also been asked to give a branding or marketing tutorial to incubators‘ members.”

The big idea

“We have a very flexible offering that works well for start-ups and SMEs,” explains Bakker. “We don’t set our price point too low – we’re reasonably priced but not cheap, in line with our brand identity, but we can tailor our offering to really suit our clients.”

For example, no fixed price points means Bakker and Botha can work with clients to create what they need, and can even spread payment over a few months in certain cases. “We’re not trying to get clients dependent on us for all their marketing and advertising material,” says Botha.

“We want repeat customers because of the experience and expertise we offer, not because they’ve been pigeonholed into using us.”

Brand foundations

For Botha and Bakker, everything begins with the right foundation, and so their first point of call is working with their clients on their values and vision for the business.

“We then design logos, corporate identities, websites and marketing material to expand on the foundation, and we give our clients everything they need to add to this design without us in the future,” says Botha.

”They have the colours, design and framework to be able to not use us in future work. We believe it‘s important for clients to be able to choose whether or not to use you again. It keeps you on your toes and offering good service, and it keeps things professional. I’ve always been bothered by inconsistent branding, and I know it’s often the result of SMEs not having access to their own corporate identity information,” he adds.

Forward focus

“Right now we’re focusing on helping SMEs to build strong brands that will allow them to compete with corporates, but in the future we’d love to set up a design hub for businesses like ours, where we can share knowledge, assist each other to extend our services, and help other start-ups to find their feet in this industry,” Bakker concludes.

Get connected

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.


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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