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SAVCA launches industry awards

The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), as part of the organisation’s 20th anniversary celebration, has announced the launch of the inaugural SAVCA Industry Awards. These annual sector accolades will recognise portfolio companies that have thrived from private equity and venture capital investment in the region.

All investee companies (headquartered in Southern Africa) currently benefitting from these types of investments, or that have had investors exit within the last 12 months, are eligible for consideration by the judging panel. Judges will comprise business leaders and captains of industry, with the awards being supported and sponsored by Investec Corporate and Institutional Banking.

“With an increased government focus on small business as a contributor to overall GDP and employment growth, these awards will serve to highlight the achievements of portfolio companies as they relate to innovation; environmental and social impacts; profit and investor returns; job creation and reputation,” says Tanya van Lill, SAVCA CEO.

The categories include:
Small Companies – seed/early stage growth investments with an enterprise value of under R50m and revenue of under R200m.
Medium-sized Companies – expansion stage investments with an enterprise value of R50m to R1bn and revenue of R200m to R2bn.
Large Companies – with an enterprise value of more than R1bn and revenue of above R2bn per annum.
Chairman’s Award – recognising exemplary work within the sector, awarded at the judges’ discretion.

“We are delighted to be associated with the very first SAVCA Industry Awards as lead sponsor,” says Lourens van Rensburg, Head of Investec Corporate and Institutional Banking. “We are especially proud to be part of an event that recognises the exceptional performance of portfolio companies in the sector, as well as their contribution to society and Southern Africa as a whole.”

Adds van Lill, “We are looking for businesses that stand out amongst their peers; demonstrating skilled execution of particular projects as well as evidence of bold and authentic leadership. The positive impact that private equity/venture capital has had on the business also needs to be reflected – this includes mentorship, strategic advice, governance and new market access.”

Private equity and venture capital investors can nominate investee companies or these businesses can nominate themselves by submitting an entry form via the SAVCA Awards website. Judges will select a shortlist of finalists across the outlined categories who will be assessed and interviewed. These findings will be presented to the judging panel, with the process culminating in winners being announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at Monte Casino in November 2018.

Nominations for the awards close on the 15th April 2018.

Author: SAVCA

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Putting some numbers on entrepreneurship: Dr. Pali Lehohla, former Statistician General, joins 22 ON SLOANE

Former Statistician General, Dr. Pali Lehohla, joins 22 ON SLOANE as a Research Resident Advisor from the 1st of March 2018. Dr. Lehohla was at the helm of Statistics South Africa for almost seventeen years. At 22 ON SLOANE, his role will include, but not limited to:
  • Train, guide and mentor the team of researchers working with startups at Sloane
  • Co-author an annual research on the state of entrepreneurship in Africa with the team at Sloane
  • Support the research team at Sloane in their work with various private and public sector organisations on the African continent
  • Host Masterclass session with the startup residents once a month looking at data and trends in their various sectors

Speaking from his office at 22 ON SLOANE, Dr. Lehohla expressed his excitement in coming into the campus.

“I am very thrilled to be here. I am not a businessman but I think I can help business people with information that will help them thrive. The vibrancy and energy in this environment is addictive and I look forward to engaging young people in this space and adding as much value as I can”.

Jonathan Ortmans, president of GEN, said, “Dr. Pali Lehohla not only possesses a great deal of knowledge of the underlying factors challenging the growth of new businesses, but it was clear to me the first time we met that he has an extraordinary, almost magical talent for communicating it in a way relevant to those looking to start and scale. Engaging him as a mentor to startups while contributing to research being conducted by our team at 22 ON SLOANE is further proof that Kizito Okechukwu, co-chair of GEN Africa, is already making tremendous strides in supporting the spread of entrepreneurship throughout the continent.”

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, described the appointment of Dr. Pali Lehohla as good news for all entrepreneurs in South Africa and the entire continent. “I am confident that entrepreneurs will benefit enormously from his sharp intellect and extraordinary ability to utilise data as a tool of planning and decision-making. We are confident that effective use of information and research will ultimately contribute to the growth, sustainability and success of emerging enterprises”, said Minister Zulu.

Author: GEN AFRICA
Enquiries: Bongiwe Melwa, PR & Communications Manager, 22 ON SLOANE
Tel: +27 (0) 11 463 7602

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Social Enterprise Masterclass Challenges Delegates to Build Sustainable Organisations

The concept of social enterprise has gone mainstream over the past few years, reflecting a desire for new ways to create economic value in a manner that delivers measurable social impact. This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week kicked off on 10 November at the continent’s largest start-up campus, 22 on Sloane in Bryanston. On Wednesday 15 November, the venue hosted masterclasses on various aspects of entrepreneurship such as social entrepreneurship, funding strategies for small business, purpose-driven enterprise, as well as inclusive growth.

The first session, Social Enterprise and Impact Investment, kicked off with Mbali Zamisa, enterprise Programme Coordinator of the South African Breweries Foundation talking about various SAB Foundation enterprises that seek to fund various small businesses. These include the Tholana Enterprise, which seeks to empower marginalised groups such as women, youth and rural business.

The room comprised mostly of determined and engaged entrepreneurs whose business’ life span ranged from one to five years old. Rudzani Mulaudzi from Grades Match and Nneile Nkholise from Likoebe Innovation Consultants spoke about impact investment and measurement.

No let-down was The Disruptors author Kerryn Krige’s talk on the complexities and contradictions of social entrepreneurship and especially what it really is. Her talk featured many salient questions and statements that served as food for thought for entrepreneurs:

  • How am I going build stability in this organization?
  • Legitimacy and authenticity are inextricably linked
  • Funding social value in a sustainable way
  • Social enterprise blends income methods which enables you to have control over the types of income you bring in
  • It’s not about how much money you get!

 

Other important take-aways were about were remembering that ‘‘your story is more important than your numbers but use numbers to back up your stories (“finance people aren’t as stupid as they look!”), and the importance of doing homework on your investor, needing your investor to offer more than just money, and enhancing your own ‘‘investability’’.

The Future of Sustainable Job Creation talk with Managing Director Zanele Luvuno of Transcend Talent Management explored the ways in which policy creation can aid job creation and exposed challenges with implementing BEE legislation. The objective was to invite professionals to see beyond corporate life and tap into research and business development facilities to pursue small business development.

The last session on Integrating the Township and Informal economy by Sifiso Moyo was a dialogical sitting that had all delegates debating on the ways in which the township could benefit more from entrepreneurial ventures. Moyo asked critical questions that involved historical facts, relevant statistics and real-life case studies to observe and analyse successes and failures of a few entrepreneurial ventures in the township. The theme of the Township Renaissance was an indispensable topic that pushed the entrepreneurs, many who are from the township, to shift mentality and think of innovative ways of serving their communities with the intention of creating a strong township eco-system in which the rand would circulate numerous times and not only once in a context where R2.2 billion rand is generated out of township economy annually. This challenge presented the opportunity for township entrepreneurs to become real and legitimate competitors with big competitors and franchises.

Global Entrepreneurship Week endeavours to host more events in which more entrepreneurs will actively and consciously engage with like-minded peers who have succeeded such as Vusi Thembekwayo, who graced this week’s first event. The Masterclasses were informative, thought-provoking, and mostly motivating to the passionate and driven young youth who came to learn from the best in the business.

Written by: Gabaza Tiba (Makhaya Advisory)

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entrepreneurship Featured finance funding innovation insights

Agricultural data pioneer Gro Intelligence receives financing boost

Gro Intelligence, the New York and Nairobi-based agricultural data analytics business used by investment professionals, major corporations, governments and international organizations around the world, has raised a round of financing led by TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG. TPG Growth was joined by Data Collective, and strategic family offices.

Founded in 2014, Gro Intelligence has built one of the world’s most sophisticated products dedicated to search and predictive analytics in agriculture. Gro collects and synthesizes hundreds of trillions of data points from disparate and often previously unavailable sources, providing users unique, comprehensive, and real-time support for mission critical decision-making and operations. Beyond aggregating and transforming data, Gro has developed new analytical tools, algorithms, and predictive models, marrying domain expertise with machine learning to allow users unprecedented current and future insights into the global food and agriculture industry.

“Gro Intelligence is reimagining how data can be used in global agriculture,” said Sara Menker, CEO and Founder of Gro Intelligence. “Agricultural data is complex and messy, historically requiring teams of analysts and huge amounts of time to sort and process. Our product solves this problem and simultaneously opens up a level of analysis previously unavailable to entire sections of the agriculture supply chain. Gro offers unparalleled insights and predictive analytics for our customers. We want to be a leader in the $5 trillion global agricultural industry.”

“TPG Growth has a track record around the world of identifying and building disruptive, market-leading companies,” said Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner, TPG Africa. “Gro Intelligence is transforming how data is used across the agricultural sector and is a natural partner for TPG Growth, given our experience with companies specializing in data, analytics and machine learning. This deal highlights the rich opportunities that exist to invest in early-stage technology companies that have a presence in Africa, but can also operate successfully on a global level.”

The system developed by Gro Intelligence responds to a shortfall of reliable agricultural data globally. Access to accurate, well structured, and current data has the potential to increase agricultural productivity and eliminate inefficiencies. The need for reliable data is only set to increase. In the next decade alone, the world needs to produce an estimated 214 trillion additional calories to feed a total population of 8.3 billion, according to the United Nations.

TPG Growth’s investment was sourced through its strategic relationship with EchoVC, the seed and early-stage venture capital fund that targets early to growth stage deals in the technology sector in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the second investment made pursuant to this relationship this year, following the investment into Frontier Car Group in February 2017.

Learn more about Gro Intelligence: https://gro-intelligence.com/blog/gro-intelligence-fundraising-announcement

Author: Portland Communications

Image Source: https://gro-intelligence.com/team

 

 

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Polishing your business pitch

Engen Petroleum and Nedbank have partnered with Raizcorp to bring the ENGEN Pitch & Polish programme to cities and towns across South Africa, for the eighth time. The programme helps to educate and grow entrepreneurs.  It teaches entrepreneurs how to polish their business pitch in order to obtain funding.

What type of Pitcher are you?

 

Pitching your business is an essential skill to master in order to grow your business. And, if you want to grow your business, you must be able to pitch it successfully. The way you say things is as important as what you actually say – and could mean the difference between attaining the investment needed – or being turned away. No matter the result, every opportunity to pitch is an opportunity to get better!

 

Now in their eighth year of listening to entrepreneurial pitches, ENGEN Pitch & Polish, in association with Engen Petroleum, Nedbank and Raizcorp, have identified six distinct pitching types. Which one are you?

 

The first three types fall into the category of ‘content pitchers’. These types are either getting it wrong – or right – from a content point of view.

 

The Investor-Ready Pitcher

  • You are the ideal pitcher! Your business case is clear with a defined product or service, which is ready to be taken to customers.
  • You have done your market research and can prove that people want what you are offering.
  • Your sums add up and you can demonstrate a clear Return on Investment (ROI).

 

The Salesman

  • Your pitch is purely sales-focused, with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
  • Investors want to see the real you and understand your business – they are far more interested in you, than your product or service.
  • Be real and be honest.

 

The Technician

  • Technicians only want to speak about the finer details of their product or service. They use too much jargon and technical terminology. The result is that the investors’ attention is lost as they stop listening.
  • Investors need the whole picture to make the ultimate decision.
  • Focus your pitch on how your business is going to make money.

 

The next three types fall into the category of ‘style pitchers’. These types are, unfortunately, getting it wrong from a style point of view! When you are confident in what you are saying, you will come across as authentic, credible and authoritative in your field.

 

The Floor-Gazing Dancer

  • These pitchers are so nervous they can’t look the investor in the eye. Instead, they stare at the floor and tend to move from side to side.
  • This pitch is hard work for an investor as the movement is dizzying and lack of eye-contact alienating.
  • Resolve to make a concerted effort to stand straight and look people in the eyes.

 

The Mumbler

  • The mumbler speaks incoherently and softly.
  • If investors cannot hear your pitch, they aren’t going to invest in your business.
  • Practice is key to gaining confidence in yourself and what you are saying. Record your pitch and listen to yourself. Become aware of your fillers and replace them with pauses.

 

The Racing Driver

  • You speak so fast that it is difficult to grasp your business offering and model.
  • This can intrigue an investor if spoken with confidence. However, it often leads to an ineffective pitch.
  • Refine your pitch. Shorten it and select places to breathe and connect with the investors. Plan your pauses. Enunciate clearly.

 

No matter the content, or style, of your pitch, a good pitch tells a story and a good story needs refining and rehearsal. As Alan Shannon, head of Nedbank Relationship Banking Sales, says “anything that distracts the audience from your message makes the message less effective.” To learn how to hook your audience, by creating your best business pitch, come to the ENGEN Pitch & Polish workshop and competition.

Author: Engen Pitch and Polish

 

For a list of this year’s workshops, and to experience the magic of ENGEN Pitch & Polish for yourself, visit www.pitchandpolish.com.