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Opportunity Issue 99

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

ENTREPRENEURSHIP MultiChoice is nurturing fertile ground for South African entrepreneurs to thrive The MultiChoice Innovation Fund kickstarts opportunities in the technology, film, media, e-commerce and digital realms. The 2020/21 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) states that many of the world’s governments, thinktanks, non-governmental and international organisations are looking towards entrepreneurship more and more as a key part of the solution to ending poverty and social inequality, promoting women’s empowerment, and implementing business solutions for the world’s environmental challenges, including climate change. This is especially true for an economy like South Africa with rising unemployment rates further exacerbated by a pandemic that forced many businesses, a large percentage of them small and medium enterprises, to shut down. MultiChoice understands that small businesses are the lifeblood of the South African economy, which is why in 2012, the group established the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust to support and grow start-ups and small enterprises. The Trust relaunched its fund as the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, which connects black majority-owned start-ups and small businesses in the technology, e-commerce, digital content, film, and media space to support their need to become industry leaders and create jobs. The Fund stimulates South Africa’s most exciting entrepreneurs, giving them access to the tools, skills and financial support that will enable them to bring their unique, innovative and exciting business ideas to life. For the past nine years, the Fund has been providing the kickstart needed to turn these innovative ideas into cutting-edge solutions and to build businesses that will shape the future of South Africa’s technology sector and video entertainment industry. In the last financial year, MultiChoice invested R252-million into 10 new businesses that joined the Fund, creating 47 new jobs. Since 2012, Innovation Fund beneficiaries have grown more than expected, where some have generated more than R100-million per annum. “As an organisation that remains committed to our purpose of enriching lives, we do business in a way that delivers shared value. We get behind initiatives that have scalable social impact, that broaden economic participation, and ensure diversity and inclusion,” says Collen Dlamini, Executive Head of Corporate Affairs for MultiChoice South Africa. Automated risk monitoring One success story from the Fund is 4Surity, a company that provides automated insurance risk monitoring to the financial services sector, a first of its kind on the continent. 58 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

ENTREPRENEURSHIP Swypa, Duma Collective, Mzanzi Live, The Plug, The Throne, Whoosh. There is currently no automated system that allows financial institutions to monitor when a customer cancels their insurance policy on financed assets. The company’s unique business model harnesses the latest technology to address collateral risk faced by customers. 4Surity’s mission is to strengthen the financial services sector and reduce billions of rands worth of exposure on behalf of banks and insurance houses. The company is currently working on a proof-of-concept with one of the major South African banks thanks to the Innovation Fund having played a crucial role in providing seed capital for the business. The money is being used to build the technology platform and will provide a working capital runway. The Fund also focuses on much more than just funding; businesses receive support throughout their journey to hone their skills in management, legal and compliance, finance and business development. Boitumelo Monageng, MD of Swypa Delivery – a delivery service provider for township-based businesses offering logistics solutions that assist with delivery of food, liquor, groceries, parcels and medicine and supply business support – says the partnership with MultiChoice made them realise that they could not stay in their comfort zone. “The mentorship we receive through the Fund has been a big contributor to the health and growth of Swypa Delivery,” adds Monageng. Established in Tembisa in 2019, Swypa Delivery services over 40 local businesses including takeaway and quick-service restaurant brands such as Chicken Licken, KFC, Nando’s and McDonald's. Having recently increased their delivery bike fleet and developed an app to make orders easier, Monageng, her partner Thabang Kgopane, and their team of 20 staff hope to grow the business into a free-to-use township business-focussed delivery service for consumers, nationwide. The MultiChoice Innovation Fund is a programme that is truly nurturing fertile ground for entrepreneurship, allowing ambitious business owners to stay connected with other economies, remain alert to new opportunities and safeguard the jobs of the future. “We believe that supporting entrepreneurs is key to the growth and sustainability of Africa. Through the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, we allow innovation, creativity and transformation to thrive,” concludes Dlamini. www.opportunityonline.co.za | 59

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