Cape Town - The Awethu Project is calling all young, ambitious and tenacious entrepreneurs who have an established innovative business with the potential for growth to apply for up to R5m in equity funding.
“We are looking for entrepreneurs with businesses that need to reach the next level," said Yusuf Randera Rees, co-founder and CEO of the Awethu Project.
"This is for those who are seeking financial and operational support to grow their business, without giving up control. The Awethu Project will partner with them.”
The Project is an progressive and innovative entrepreneurship development company that was started by Randera Rees, a Harvard and Oxford graduate from South Africa in 2009.
Its latest campaign will see Awethu’s small business SME venture capital fund investing in high-potential entrepreneurs and businesses.
“Not many incubators are willing to take early-stage risk, but Awethu is," he said.
"We will not just give you a cheque and send you on your way, this is an opportunity for you to get operational support, providing you with a comprehensive finance back-office, admittance to the Awethu Academy for practical personal development, and access to our extensive business development networks,” said Randera Rees.
Awethu will also back up the successful candidates with a support team of experts in everything including recruitment, BEE, labour law and marketing.
“Awethu elects to invest in equity because we want to be partners, and want to help entrepreneurs grow – we believe this is the answer to our country’s unemployment problem. The basic idea is that we go into partnership with the business owners we work with,” said Randera Rees.
“We have the same incentive as the business owners to grow their businesses, and if we accomplish that we share in the rewards.”
Awethu is looking for entrepreneurs who have products that are in demand or offer excellent services, and can prove they have the ambition and tenacity to become world class.
The cost of the investment is a negotiated equity stake, which brings Awethu on board as a high impact partner.
"With over 100 successful entrepreneurs that have passed through Awethu’s doors, this venture capital fund has a proven track record of solid returns for investors, and high growth rates for entrepreneurs," said Randera Rees.
Funding from government’s Jobs Fund and Discovery and support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Awethu is offering an opportunity for entrepreneurs who have "ambition and talent, but lack entrepreneurship training and funding".