Bonang Mohale's latest venture: Supporting local start-ups

The former CEO of Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale, says he will be dedicating more time to his latest start-up following his retirement from the business body.

Mohale, who announced late in June that his contract at BLSA would not be renewed, co-founded SiSebenza with Marc Lubner, Gary Woolf and Andrew Robinson in early 2019.

The start-up's business model focuses on entrepreneur and small business support.

Despite rumblings about early retirement, Mohale says SiSebenza is already working with global flexible work space and lifestyle partners to bring market access to previously marginalised businesses.

Linking global partners

SiSebenza does not develop its own business models, but works with global start-ups to bring them to African shores to support local start-ups, Mohale explained.

"Disruption is the only way to engineer change," he said on Monday.

"I’m looking forward to being able to dedicate more time to improving the local business environment. The more focus there is on kick-starting our economic stagnation, the more chance we have of solving a range socio-economic woes and improving our global competitiveness."

Mohale previously told Fin24 that incoming BLSA CEO, Busisiwe Mavuso, was "younger, cleverer, much more hard-working" than himself, and that he had done what he set out to do at the business advocacy group. 

He and Mavuso had been working together ahead of his stepping down, he said, in order to prepare her to step into the role.

The BLSA board asked him to stay on a little longer than the initially agreed term of contract, he noted, but he had absolute faith in Mavuso, who took up the reins in the first week of July.

Mohale says he was proud of the work he had done at the business body in a short space of time, adding that the organisation played a vital role in restoring trust and accountability in the relationship between businesses and the state.

"We succeeded in defeating and rooting out state capture. There is a lot of work to be done but I believe we have made huge progress.

"She [Mavuso] will need to continue the good work of ensuring that all of us ultimately succeed in eradicating the legacy of apartheid," Mohale said.

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