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How to Crack Social Entrepreneurship

Ravi Naidoo, founder and managing director of Design Indaba and its founding company, Interactive Africa chats to Entrepreneur about social entrepreneurship and the Win The Right Way campaign.

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Ravi-Naidoo

Chivas Regal has begun a global search for the most promising social entrepreneurs: Those with businesses or ideas that use enterprise and innovation as a force for good.

Up for grabs is $1 million of financial assistance, global exposure for their company or idea, and support from world-famous business mentors.

To be a social entrepreneur you need to be…

Socially conscious and in touch with what is happening in your society. Social entrepreneurship essentially holds up a mirror to the issues on the ground. In South Africa we are not short of issues.

The brief for social enterprises is written for us. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the capacity to implement. We hold many talk shops – we are not short of think-tanks. We now need do-tanks.

You are the local Chivas Regal’s Win the Right Way ambassador because…

I felt it was a progressive idea from a brand that was not stuck on cheesy pics of me sipping the product. Chivas Regal recognises that the world is open to opportunity and better ways of doing things.

They are encouraging prospective entrepreneurs to step forward, and incentivising them for establishing businesses that have impact. When we launched Design Indaba 20 years ago, we were not familiar with the term ’social enterprise.’

Hopefully this campaign can launch a new generation of value creators – who create value not only for shareholders, but for society too.

To launch a social enterprise takes…

Three essential drivers, to my mind: Innovation – you need a fresh idea, or else you have parity; calculated risk-taking – be aware of downsides too; and pro-activity – speed of action is important. You need to be proactive, always on the run and putting yourself out there.

Things won’t just come to you and you’ll need to put in a lot of work to get people to believe in your project. Innovation is important. Take calculated risks. Don’t just jump in. Do your research, estimate the risk levels, and know what you are getting into.

For your social venture to mature…

You need to be a constant gardener. Don’t be complacent. When we launched Design Indaba we had 200 people attending; now we have 63 000 attendees.

We are constantly adding, refreshing and developing the festival. Every year we introduce a new element to Design Indaba. We now have a music and film festival. The website (designindaba.com) doesn’t just focus on the event but is a 24/7/365 inspiration water fountain for the intellectually curious.

The website is updated throughout the year with information that is useful and informative to everybody in the design industry and beyond. It’s grown from being more than just an annual event to an intellectual resource for designers. Entrepreneurs must embrace the idea that work is never complete, but that it’s always in beta version.

As a potential social entrepreneur, to succeed you need…

Inner drive, durability and resilience.  Its tough to get it right first time. You’ll meet people who don’t believe in your idea. Don’t surrender early. When we first launched Design Indaba, few took us seriously. Design was still thought of as frivolous and frothy – and something you only saw in glossy women’s magazines.

We had to to show design’s potency and primacy in improving the quality of life and in enhancing competitive advantage for business. And this is not a quick fix. It’s not just ’add water,’ instant gratification! It takes time. So commit to investing time too. We had to challenge that mind-set. And keep coming back.

As Interactive Africa we conceived and led the bid to host the 2006 Football World Cup – we failed. That didn’t mean we quit. We tried again and the 2010 World Cup hosted in South Africa was a result of that inner drive and not surrendering too early.

A social entrepreneur’s business plan should include…

  • Rigour. Do your research and have a strategic understanding of the terrain.
  • Go beyond what you know. The plan must be comprehensive and you need to ask yourself the hard questions before your competitors or customers do. Define your concept.  Articulate your mission and your vision.
  • Do a market analysis. Unpack your product or service and the operational plan to support it ( 4Ps essentially). Do a SWOT analysis. Work out the personnel requirements. Develop the financials and understand your funding and cash flow needs. Write an executive summary. This is your elevator pitch.

As a social entrepreneur be prepared to face these stumbling blocks…

No one took us seriously. People didn’t see the impact of design as being an agent of change. At the time everybody was scrambling for a piece of the market share.

We asked the question: Who is growing the market-cake that everyone is scrambling for? Our company was our response to growing the cake. Africa has plenty of resources but we are not leading in the production sector.

For example Ghana grows cocoa beans but doesn’t produce chocolates. We need to understand processes and production. It is gaps like these which Design Indaba aimed to bridge.

A social entrepreneur improves their odds of funding by…

The power of your idea. Also, understand the power of trade exchanges, bartering and value in kind.

Many companies are looking to make a difference – if you have a great idea that is well packaged you will get traction with them. Be creative and collaborative. Great ideas can be bootstrapped.

Advice for social entrepreneurs planning to send their business plans for Win The Right Way…

Start something that’s leveraged off your passion. Find meaning. Design Indaba feels like a calling and not a job. It’s become a theatre to enact our dreams. Create yours.

My proudest moment since launching Design Indaba was handing over keys to ten new homes – to families who had lived in shacks.

The Design Indaba 10X10 Low-Cost Housing Project aimed to create alternative solutions to housing. It was that wholesome moment that made it all worthwhile.

That’s what your business plan should do: Give you purpose beyond profit.

To find out how to enter the competition, visit www.theventure.com

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Entrepreneur Today

Win A Seat At 10X-e’s 10X-ECUTION Bootcamp (Valued At R5900)

Automatically receive 20% off the Bootcamp just by entering!

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Transform chaos into systematically achieving business goals, at scale. Hosted by founder, Jason Goldberg

Enter by emailing your company name, your name and your designation to Monique: mchaitezvi@edgegrowth.com

About 10X-e:

Scaling – the Bermuda Triangle of growth – is hard, and fraught with failure. Very few of even the top 1% of ventures succeed at scaling, mostly due to poor execution, due to lack of experience scaling businesses. The 10X Program brings the ‘Science of Scale’ and seasoned Scale Up Leaders to help founders navigate the Bermuda Triangle of growth

Our team has helped some of the Continent’s most exciting high growth businesses scale up through the most treacherous parts of the journey. We tailor make multiple workshops to the specific needs of you, your team, and your business. Our workshops serve to address the most pressing challenges that your business faces, helping remove the hurdles towards 10X growth.

For more information on 10X-e, visit: https://10xe.co.za/ 

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Entrepreneur Today

Off The Beaten Track

What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.

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This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.

The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.

“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.

“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.

Related: Travel Tour Agency Sample Business Plan

According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”

Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.

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Entrepreneur Today

FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development

First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.

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First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.

DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.

Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”

FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.

“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.

Related: The 10 Most Reliable Ways To Fund A Start-up

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