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South African Venture Capital Company Launches To Help Local Start-Ups Take Off, Globally

Helping start-ups to take off, a group of successful South African entrepreneurs, today launched something the country has never seen before: a Venture Capital (VC) company that doesn’t just invest in early stage start-ups, but personally nurtures them through each phase of their business growth cycle, with the aim of scaling them in readiness for entry to international markets.

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Helping start-ups to take off, a group of successful South African entrepreneurs, today launched something the country has never seen before: a Venture Capital (VC) company that doesn’t just invest in early stage start-ups, but personally nurtures them through each phase of their business growth cycle, with the aim of scaling them in readiness for entry to international markets.

Called FUTURENEERS™, this pioneering company will bring select start-ups together with capital and the necessary management and professional support services, to get them to where they need to go. In addition to this, FUTURENEERS™ (and the chosen start-ups), will be supported by mentors who will not only guide them, but also connect them to opportunities locally as well as abroad.

In so doing, the company will be filling the current gap that exists after early angel investors exit, to where start-ups require an additional injection of capital and experience, to achieve recurring revenue generation.  It is also capitalising on the rise of emerging-market technologies, usually born out of necessity, that are finding resonance in more established markets.

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Related: Is Your Business Fundable? Venture Capitalist Clive Butkow’s Shares His Priceless Insights

Having built unquestionably impressive track records across the globe as both entrepreneurs and investors, the team behind FUTURENEERS™ believe the death of real deal-flow in SA can be attributed primarily to perceptions of risk. Since South African investors often lack the time, knowledge and resources to screen, manage and grow promising start-ups, they tend to invest in more mature, post-revenue businesses.

Heading the group is Johannes (Jo) Booysen, best known as founder of Yonder Media (acquired by WPP’s Group M in 2015) the B-One Group (currently owned by Steinhoff Group) and Hot Dog Café Group.  He’s joined by the likes of ex Price Waterhouse Coopers Partner Jaco Gerber, and Cipla Nutrition co-founder Deon Lewis.

And, because it is all about the people who make the businesses fly, backing the founding team is a powerhouse advisory board of ‘FUTURENEERS™.’  Part of that carefully selected and patriotic group keen to plough expertise back into South Africa’s start-up landscape is Los Angeles-based Brent Cohen.

Brent’s extensive experience ranges from Internet start-ups to high-growth companies, turnarounds, raising capital and IPOs, as well as mergers and acquisitions in the global technology sector. Perhaps best known for his 12 years at the helm of Packard Bell – where they achieved the distinction of attaining #1 market share worldwide – Brent has an equally impressive record in Venture Capital, also having optimised and exited a Softbank Capital and Texas Pacific Group portfolio company with over $1b. in proceeds.

Sharing Cohen’s vision and support for the company’s endeavours, and with similarly imposing track records, start-ups will have the benefit from guidance of local advisors such as the likes of Gustav Praekelt of the Praekelt Foundation, Martin Venter of Val de Vie and Derek White of the Clearwater Group, to name but a few.

FUTURENEERS™ will be addressing the problems that exist in the current South African VC ecosystem and has developed some unique characteristics to help them do so, which are exciting investors and start-ups alike:

Global Bridge

Strategic partnerships in the US, UK, India, China, Australia and Israel, have facilitated the formation of a unique, multi-channel conduit for information, services and capital, aptly named the ‘Global Bridge’.

Accesses to professional services

Start-ups entering the FUTURENEERS™ programme gain unrivalled access to world-class service providers through a one-stop-shop environment.

Holistic Analysis Matrix

Before investments are reviewed and approved by the Investment Committee, they are rigorously screened and vetted against very stringent criteria.

Proven success

Each member of the Management Team and Advisory Board have either started businesses, worked for large corporations, developed them, and then either exited, and/or attracted major investment capital or continued to be market leaders in their field.

Tax Benefit for investors

A Venture Capital Company, in terms of Section 12J of the Income Tax Act, that will enable investors to deduct the full amount of their investment from their income in the tax year in which the investment is made.

Hands-on approach

With active, hands-on involvement in the day-to-day business of the selected start-ups, FUTURENEERS™ will groom and nurture these start-ups through acceleration and product refinement, preparing them to scale globally.

Related: How To Get Venture Capital

By directly addressing the reasons why start-ups fail, FUTURENEERS™ is significantly reducing the risk profile of these start-ups, and enabling solid business success, almost from the outset.

Booysen summed it up by saying: “The start-up space, and especially the technology sector, has always been an exciting place to be.  But today, more than ever – provided the risks are mitigated – it offers incredible returns. For us, the objective is simple: finding, nurturing and guiding the next Roelof Botha or Elon Musk, then introducing them to our influencer and funding networks around the world.

“With our ‘start-up machine’, international footprint and strategy, South African entrepreneurs and investors can experience what we believe is ‘real VC’ for the first time – financial support for early start-ups, professional services, and guaranteed access to a global ecosystem, along with all of the opportunities that this provides.”

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.

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How Kiran Rai Became A Global Brand Ambassador With Over 10.5 Million Facebook Followers At The Age Of 26

Kiran Rai has been featured in 600 international newspapers worldwide and has hosted 80 major events including 50 entertainment events and 23 major sport events. Find out how one of Britain’s most influential young people has made it to the top.

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Now, Kiran Rai is a global brand ambassador traveling the world promoting Social Box. He was also recently appointed as sponsorship director of the Cake Bake and Sweet Show currently running in Australia. But his life wasn’t always global travel and fancy titles, at 23 he stood outside Waterloo station for a month holding a sign saying, “please support me.” He managed to raise £15 000, which allowed him to follow his dreams and catapult himself into the entertainment industry. Find out how he did it:

Getting started

Kiran Rai started out very young, he realised early on in life that if he didn’t take his dream and himself seriously, nobody else would. His mindset developed out of what he learnt from his school life and his family, he also developed a thick skin from watching his mom and his aunt.

“The strategy I used was phoning people constantly and making sure that people heard me, it was a gruelling process.” He says that there were even times when he would bang on directors and casting agents’ doors and send them numerous emails and letters.

He exhausted every option in trying to achieve his dream. “I would do open mics late at the night hoping that maybe someone would spot me,” he says.

Related: Making Money From Your Baking Hobby

Lessons learnt

Kiran Rai learnt quickly the importance of standing on his own two feet. “I just want to keep proving to myself that I am good at what I do, and I kept pushing whether I succeeded or not,” says Rai.

He is constantly on the move and learning new things, he feels that being versatile and gaining experience will help him achieve his dream. “I have a very fierce mentality when it comes to learning that once I complete something I need to move on to something else straight away,” he says.

“I’ve also learnt to be humble – it’s the most important thing. Yes, there are times when you need to be confident to show people that you know what you’re doing but being arrogant puts people off,” says Kai. “I’ve learnt to keep pushing despite people telling me no, I’ve had so much rejection and I still get rejected, I just learn to handle it.”

Putting in the time and effort

“I’ve produced my own work for years, and I’ve put in the time and effort. I’ve learnt my craft and travelled across the world to make my dream happen. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me and for how far I’ve come,” he says.

“Working with Cake Bake has really improved my business mindset and thanks to Ralph and Binu Pillai and Aka Samara who have made this happen for me. I have great mentors around me, who motivate me to try harder.

There have been times when I’ve become demoralised as it’s difficult to see where my career is headed, but I just keep reminding myself that it will take time to realise my dream and improve myself.

Related: How To Start A Bakery Guide

What he’s up to now

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“I’m just a 26-year-old having fun, travelling the world and being able to achieve my dreams and work with great brands including Social Box, 3LT and of course being the sponsorship director of Cake Bake and Sweet Show in Australia,” says Rai.

“Currently, I’m leading a team of 8 and it’s incredible to work with a great company. I will be presenting on stage at the Cake and Bake Show happening in Sydney and Melbourne and I’m excited about it.”

Plans for the future

“My plans are to head to Mumbai and Los Angeles. I am targeting both cities as my dream is to become an established actor. I am also learning Hindi right now to improve my chances when auditioning for Bollywood projects. But I’ll also continue to keep pushing and never settle,” he says.

“The Cake Bake and Sweet Show is a great opportunity to learn. I’m learning how to work with people and work in a team, whereas previously I was very much on my own hustling every day and I haven’t worked closely with people for numerous of years,” says Rai. 

A word of advice

To the youth looking to follow their dreams he says: “Do whatever you can, don’t be scared and make your voice heard. Never let others keep you down.”

He continues to say that you should remember to focus on your education. “I’ve learnt the hard way that it’s important, and that I should haven listened to my parents and followed their advice.”

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South Africa Joins Global Impact Investing Body

South Africa will take another step toward meeting its development challenges this week when it becomes the first African country to join the Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investing.

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A global body promoting investments that not only generate a financial return, but deliver positive environmental and social outcomes as well, the GSG currently comprises 21 countries, plus the European Union.

South Africa will be represented on this important global body by the National Task Force for Impact Investing – that was established recently to grow local support for the impact investment sector. The Task Force is made up of representatives from government, private capital and research institutions. The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is acting as the secretariat for this new initiative.

“This is an amazing development, as it signifies South Africa’s leadership role in the area of impact investing,” says Elias Masilela, Executive Chairman of DNA Economics and Chair of the Impact Investing National Task Force. “South Africa’s entry into the GSG will usher in a new perspective in thinking about investing.”

According to the Global Impact Investing Network, the amount of money committed to impact investing around the world has doubled in the last year. From $114 billion in mid-2017, there is now $230 billion in funds targeting investments that not only generate a financial return, but deliver positive environmental and social outcomes as well.

This rapid growth has been largely due to a greater awareness of how private investment can contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Yet there is still a long way to go. It is estimated that the world needs $2.5 trillion per year to hit the UN’s targets.

Meeting these goals is crucial in South Africa, where poverty and inequality remain significant challenges. Attracting more private capital to support projects in fields such as education, housing and water is imperative.

Related: Investment Support For Black Business

According to Susan de Witt, Innovative Finance Lead at the Bertha Centre and head of the Impact Investing National Task Force Secretariat, being part of the GSG will give the movement in South Africa international credibility and allow the country to learn from the experiences of other countries.

“One of the major advantages of joining the GSG is that local representatives from the mainstream capital markets will be exposed to the global shifts in asset allocation,” says de Witt. “They will also be able to develop the appropriate contextual vehicles and tools to do this effectively spurred on by the efforts of major players such as Blackrock, Credit Suisse and UBS.

Giving Africa a voice in this forum is a crucial development, says Masilela. “With the strategic role that the country holds on the continent, as well as its representative voice on BRICS and other global fora, it is imperative that South Africa continues to drum up the need for this consciousness towards investment.”

Not only will the country benefit enormously from the learning opportunities, but it will be able to make a meaningful contribution to discussions as well. As many international impact investing projects are focused on Africa, there is a need for local insights to guide international investment allocations.

“Having sat in a number of these meetings, there a noticeable lack of African opinion,” says de Witt. “Working groups with an international strategy often focus on Africa, but there is rarely an African in the room.”

As a member of the GSG, South Africa will be a fully-fledged member of the global impact investing movement. This will unlock meaningful opportunities for the country.

“There is no better time than now,” Masilela says. “Done right, it will reverse many of the domestic and global imbalances we face. It is particularly important, with South Africa’s economy struggling to record a much needed turnaround.”

Along with South Africa, similar Advisory Boards in New Zealand and Bangladesh will also be admitted to the CSG this month.

“The impact revolution is a truly global movement, and its expansion to Bangladesh, New Zealand, and South Africa underscores that the pivot to risk, return, and impact is spreading to all corners of our world,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, founder and chair of the GSG.

The GSG’s Board of Trustees approved the new member countries amid preparations for the annual Impact Summit on 8-9 October in New Delhi, India. The Board also approved sites for its next two Impact Summits: Santiago, Chile on 7-8 November 2019, and Johannesburg, South Africa in 2020.

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Entrepreneur Today

FNB Announces The 7th Franchise Leadership Summit

FNB is hosting the 7th Franchise Leadership Summit at Montecasino on Tuesday, 13 November 2018. The summit is a well-attended industry discussion amongst high calibre franchisors and industry stakeholders.

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The Summit is aptly themed “Equipping you to future proof your franchise”. The discussions will include exploring the impact of technology on the franchising industry.

To this end, Morne Cronje, Head of Franchising at FNB Business explains that “the rise in online applications in franchising means we need to find innovative ways on how to continue to grow and improve this new dimension to this already robust industry.”

The South African Fast Food Landscape Report of 2018 backs the position that Cronje speaks to as it revealed that a growing number of consumers are opting for the convenience of online delivery services when purchasing fast food, this has a far reaching impact that the Summit will begin to talk to in this year’s leg.

Related: Don’t Tread On Toes – Why Investing In A HIQ Franchise Will Offer You More Opportunities

The speaker line-up includes:

  • Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business; Marcel Klaassen, Executive Head at FNB Business: Opening address
  • Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya, Chief Economist at FNB: She will talk about the state of the economy and what it means for entrepreneurs.
  • Morne Cronje – Head of Franchising at FNB Business; Eric Parker – Franchising Consultant at Franchising Plus; Stephen Walters – GIS Specialist and Co-Founder at Fernridge Consulting & Tony da Fonseca – MD at OBC Chicken: Panel discussion on future proofing franchise.
  • Richard Mulholland – founder: Beware of the Fox, a look at the actual impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on business
  • Andy Higgins, Founder of Bidorbuy and Managing Director of uAfrica.com: Will E-commerce replace traditional retail? – How to adapt your business model.
  • Dion Chang – Trends Analyst: Pivoting your skills for the second wave of disruption.
  • Dr. Sarah Britten – Independent shopper marketing and social media strategist: Check ins and check outs – how franchises can use social media to build their businesses.
  • Dr. Rosy Ndhlovu – Founder: Social Franchising – Is this the future for Healthcare?

Cronje says the great line-up of industry experts will go beyond the digital discussion and the subsequent challenges it presents, each speaker will offer workable solutions on how to improve and navigate the move to the 4th Industrial Revolution as a business.

“Franchising is a healthy and resilient industry in South Africa. However, we need to continuously improve it and keep adapting to the ever-changing landscape. Therefore, unpacking online applications and trends in franchising is at the centre of this summit amongst other things,” concludes Cronje.

Buy tickets or find out more information on the Summit here: www.franchisesummit.co.za

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