Four ambitious, passionate and innovative South African entrepreneurs have been chosen to join Endeavor’s Entrepreneur Excelerator Programme.
These early-stage entrepreneurs will have access to training, mentorship, consulting services and strategic introductions. They will be hooked into Endeavor’s local and global network of business leaders and role models, who volunteer their time to help selected entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses.
The winning entrepreneurs – Mohlakoana Mokoena of Drift Brands, Tsakani Mashaba of Michael Mikiala Men, and Garth Japhet and Buhle Dlamini of 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); Endeavor entrepreneur Tony Smith (Quintica); Jasper van Heesch (Deloitte); Brian Muzaretwetu (Ernst & Young); Natalie Killassy (Stitchwise) and Sanjeev Orie (FNB).
Mohlakoana Mokoena 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.
Tsakani Mashaba’s company Michael Mikiala produces a range of skin products specifically formulated for black men. 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 spent more than two years researching and developing to produce a line of face washes, bump lotions, and moisturisers 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 and Buhle Dlamini 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 70 000 nonprofit organisations (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.