Venture Fund

Taking your business concept to market

When you talk to those who want to get into business they normally have stars in their eyes. Dreaming of the millions they are going to make. That’s great and it indicates a sense of passion and drive. The question aspirant entrepreneurs should ask themselves is what type of business should I start? Many want to do something completely unique. Something radical, something that is new to the market. There is nothing wrong with this but one ne...
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10 tips for women entrepreneurs

While working for oneself is an exciting prospect, it's also a scary one. Find out what you can do to ensure that this risk is one that pays off. Many women who have decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship find that the pressure is immense, especially if they have a family to support and bills to pay. If you're struggling to cope, there are a few things you can do to put yourself more at ease. Are you doing what you love?Being pass...
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What the business world can learn from female entrepreneurs

It is widely agreed that women's style of doing business tends to differ from that of men, even though the distinctions are never clear-cut. But there is enough of a difference to suggest that the rise of female entrepreneurs is slowly changing the culture of the business world. Is it a change for the better, and can all business owners, male and female, embrace this change and benefit from it? Yes to all of the above, says Gugu Mjadu, executive...
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‘Work hard, quietly and develop a thick skin’

Pat Duxbury knows the look that says “But you're a woman!” in the face of a client whom she meets at the start of a tour through the Kruger Park. “As a woman, you always have to prove yourself. You work hard at the beginning of a tour, and after a day or two they (the tourists) settle down and are happy with you,” says Pat, who has built up Themba Tours and Safaris over the past two decades. As the owner-manager of a guest house in Br...
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Gender parity within reach as numbers of women entrepreneurs keep rising

If lending figures from Business Partners, South Africa's leading finance house for small and medium enterprises, are anything to go by, genuine gender parity seems to be within reach in the local community of owner-managed businesses in the foreseeable future. Jeremy Lang, Regional General Manager: Inland West of Business Partners, is quick to point out that in order to reach this parity South Africa still needs more female entrepreneurial role...
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SA SME industry not for the unprepared

Macro and micro risks local businesses need to be aware of Challenges such as strikes, load shedding and e-tolls reinforce the statement that starting and running a business in South Africa is not for the faint-hearted. Gerrie van Biljon, Executive Director of Business Partners Limited, however believes it is more helpful to think of it as ‘not for the unprepared’. Biljon says that the difference in opinion reveals the other side of the risk ...
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Madness? No, just ambition, grit and entrepreneurship

With her characteristic mix of impulsiveness and tenacity, Penelope launched herself into turning Precioux into a clothing brand aimed at kids and tweens aged between 2 and 16, and has since been climbing a gargantuan learning curve over the past few years. Penelope Rodenhurst Precioux It takes a level of bravery to start any business, but for most entrepreneurs the idea of starting out in the dying local clothing manufacturing industry borders o...
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Finding freedom through training and experience

When she thinks of the work-life balance of business owners, the image that comes to mind for Gugu Mjadu, executive general manager: marketing at Business Partners, is of her mother on holiday with her family with the phone stuck to her ear - constantly talking to her staff at the office. Her mom had started an events-planning company when she left teaching at the age of 50. The business was young, she had put all of her life savings into the ven...
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Entrepreneurial freedom comes with responsibility

One of the major reasons why entrepreneurs decide to start their own business is the freedom that this lifestyle offers. They want to take their own decisions and are prepared to take the consequences. Entrepreneurs are by nature risk takers and they realise that it may culminate in serious or negative results, but they always see the positive and remain forever optimistic. If the decision was the right one, the benefits and results offer a great...
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