by Staff Reporter on 08/06/12 at 2:00 pm
Endeavor SA has selected another three remarkable, ambitious, passionate and innovative emerging South African entrepreneurs to form part of Endeavor’s Entrepreneur Excelerator Program.
Endeavor South Africa’s entrepreneur Excelerator Programme is now eighteen strong! Today, three dynamic, inspiring and diverse entrepreneurs were added to the Endeavor portfolio – a diverse group that represents the depth and wealth of potential among small business owners in South Africa. For the entrepreneurs this means a commitment of support and growth assistance through Endeavor’s unrivalled global network of mentors. The final selection was held on the 7th June 2012 at Woodlands Office Park in Woodmead, hosted by Deloitte who are actively involved in the growth and mentorship of entrepreneurs in the programme year round.
Winners of the 6th Excelerator Panel were selected from five shortlisted candidates. The search and selection process for the 2012 Excelerator Program was launched in early 2012 and the candidates, Drifts Brands, Michael Mikiala Men and ForGood were selected from a pool of more than 120 entrepreneurs. The final selection panel consisted of six captains of industry, Carlo Gonzaga – Taste Holdings (Scooters, NWJ, Maxis) / Endeavor entrepreneur, Tony Smith – Quintica, Jasper van Heesch – Deloitte, Brian Muzaretwetu – Ernst & Young, Natalie Killassy – Stitchwise / Endeavor entrepreneur, Sanjeev Orie, FNB. All five finalists went through a rigorous assessment in the presence of about 50 observers, followed by the announcement of the winners at a recognition event.
Christopher Whitfield, Endeavor South Africa Board Member and CEO of Batswadi Pharmaceuticals, welcomed participants and observers at the start of proceedings, “We are eager to start working with the selected entrepreneurs – it’s exciting to know that what our mentorship network can offer them will help take their businesses to the next level whilst growing the entrepreneur as an individual at the same time. The candidates that don’t make it are not given the thumbs down, and it is by no means an indication that their businesses are not viable, it may simply mean that they are not yet ready for the kind of assistance we can offer. The entrepreneur can work on key criteria set by panelists and stand for selection again when these are met; and in the interim they will benefit from some unofficial guidance and support through our network.”
Life is about to change for the three selected entrepreneurs who now form part of the Endeavor’s Excelerator Program. The Excelerator is Endeavor South Africa’s initiative which started in 2009 designed to extend Endeavor’s reach to more innovative, early stage entrepreneurs and often previously disadvantaged in South Africa. The aim of Excelerator Program is to revolutionalise the way early stage South African entrepreneurs are developed by leveraging the global skill that makes Endeavor the premier entrepreneurship support network in the world. These early-stage entrepreneurs will have access to training, mentorship, consulting services and strategic introductions. They will be hooked into Endeavor’s unparalleled local and global network of business leaders and role models, who volunteer their time to help selected entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses. So far two Excelerator Entrepreneurs have qualified and been sent to Endeavor International Selection Panels which evaluates their business against peers globally. From January to December 2011, Endeavor’s entire portfolio of 36 entrepreneurs (Excelerator plus Endeavor global programme) achieved a compounded annual revenue growth rate of 25% and created 19% more jobs than compared with the previous period.
Meet the Entrepreneurs
Mohlakoana set out to formulate Drift Cockroach Killer a unique and natural insecticide using his high school science knowledge and Boric Acid as the basis of the formula to dehydrate and kill the cockroaches. Mohlakoana is the first and remains the only black owned insecticide company registered in the industry. Drift Cockroach killer is SABS approved, tested, and registered and Mohlakoana has been able to list his product in Pick ‘n Pay, Spar, Shoprite, and Massmart as well as having an extensive distribution network in the informal sector. Drift Brands currently has revenues of R3 million and plans to expand this by focusing on the formal market by outsourcing expensive merchandising costs to scale the business nationally.
Michael Mikiala is the first range of products specifically formulated for the black male skin type and condition. In the South African Cosmetics and Toiletries Industry young black male consumers are currently the biggest drivers of growth in the male grooming industry that has already reached over R2 billion in 2010. Tsakani Mashaba, 32, has spent over 2 years of extensive research and development to produce a line of face washes, bump lotions, and moisturizers targeted at this specific market. To help educate the market Michael Mikiala is negotiating with a strong retail partner to create a unique space for men
Garth Japhet, 48, and Buhle Dlamini, 31, started ForGood as an online social media portal to encourage all South African’s to get out and volunteer. They identified that the biggest frustration for people was that they did not know how to start volunteering. The ForGood website currently has 700 causes and over 3000 subscribers that can find causes that are either close to where they live or matched up with their interests. There are over 70 thousand nonprofit organizations (NPO) in South Africa employing more individuals than the entire mining sector. All these NPO’s are potential causes to be listed on ForGood. All causes are pre-approved by ForGood and the volunteer’s time is recorded by the causes on the ForGood website.
Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.
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