A Letter from the Founder
You have an incredible business idea. Great! But now what? Where do you start? Register a company or do it in a personal capacity? Quit your job, or bootstrap? How do you fund your business? How do you find customers? How do you manage your books?
Sound familiar? These are just a few questions that go through any aspiring Entrepreneur’s mind.
It’s a tough environment to start and run a business in. Even established businesses struggle to get their ventures to grow. The journey of an Entrepreneur is a bumpy one, and not for the faint of heart.
But what if it setting up a business was a simple and easy process? What if funding was abundant and there were ample initiatives to support startups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)? What if there were endless networking events and mentors galore, with innovative products and services, designed specifically to help you run your business?
And what if I told you that is the South Africa you live in today?
Yes, that’s right! It’s crazy how many organizations and initiatives there are, whose sole purpose is to help you.The problem is that they can’t find you, and you don’t know where to look for them.
Information for Entrepreneurs is fragmented, and organizations are operating in silos. Take incubators for example; it’s an amazing concept for startups. They have beautiful websites and are active on social media. The problem is knowing where to find them if you have never come across an incubator before. You, and your business are immediately restricted by what information you have access to.
As a chartered accountant and investment analyst, I became aware of government initiatives and organizations supporting SMEs. I would perform analysis on these companies’ business models and would at times recommend that clients invest in some of these companies. Some organizations focus on assisting specific types of entrepreneurs, such as women, youth or the previously disadvantaged. Other organizations focus on certain types of businesses, depending on location and/or the industry. Some organizations don’t have any preferences at all. But I had family and friends who were Entrepreneurs that had no idea these organizations existed.
And that right there, was my ‘ah-ha!’ moment.
I realized that the key to entrepreneurship was not necessarily about access to finance, or about access to markets. Rather, it was access to information. And so began my journey of creating an online portal that housed this information in an engaging format – with some additional tools I thought Entrepreneurs would find useful.
Coming from corporate, ICT and media are way out of my comfort zone. It was, and continues to be, a steep learning curve. But I genuinely hope Entri® will add value to your venture, open up new opportunities and make your journey as an Entrepreneur a little easier.
I know how valuable Entri® would have been when I started my own business, so I want to make sure it’s here for yours.
Here’s to building a supportive, encouraging and engaging community, where incredible ideas become incredible businesses.
Remember, if opportunities don’t come not knocking, you’re probably standing at the wrong door.
Ultimately, we want to shed light on the length and breadth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa, using an interactive platform.