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Friday, 17 July 2015 13:53


Excelerator graduation logo

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) hosted an Endeavor South Africa event, which showcased early-stage, black-owned businesses that have grown substantially, and in some cases, doubled their number of employees over a period of two years. 

The event marked the graduation of the founders of businesses from the Endeavor Excelerator Programme, for which they were selected in 2012.  Mohlakoana Mokoena of Drift Brands, Ashley and Tania Mulligan of Kushesh; and Tsakani Mashaba of Michael Mikiala Men, were declared Endeavor Alumni in celebration of their success.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange host and sponsor, Donna Oosthuyse, Director, Capital Markets, welcomed all the guests, while Catherine Townshend, MD of the Endeavor SA, and Endeavor Mentor, Clive Butkow, Non-Executive Director, Grovest Venture Capital, provided an insight into the determination and grit that these entrepreneurs had shown in working with Endeavor to grow their businesses. Guests experienced the thrilling count down to the opening of the market and the sounding of the Kudu Horn, which on this occasion, was done solely in honour of the Endeavor guests.

The graduating entrepreneurs are exceptional role models for other business owners who wish to build their entrepreneurial skills. Tsakani Mashaba says, “Being part of Endeavor is the best thing that entrepreneurs can do because it sharpens your business acumen. You also get to meet other entrepreneurs, so you do not feel alone.”

Tania and Ashley Mulligan, who, like their fellow graduates, were provided with services that included access to a business road map, an advisory board, legal advice, access to investors and markets, are extremely proud of their company’s 67% growth in turnover since joining the Endeavor Excelerator Programme in 2012. “Through Endeavor we have had great access to opportunities and have been able to meet people we would not have otherwise met,” says Tania.

Endeavor SA has replicated the success achieved globally with the Endeavor model through its unique Excelerator programme, which is aimed at black-owned businesses that have not yet reached the high-growth stage of the typical Endeavor Entrepreneur. The programme applies Endeavor’s global best practices to earlier-stage businesses that have the potential to become high-growth companies within a defined timeframe. “We believe that developing high-impact entrepreneurs is the best way to promote an economy in South Africa that is sustainable and creates jobs,” says Catherine Townshend, MD of Endeavor SA.

Endeavor further believes in pushing these earlier-stage entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the point where they not only become Endeavor Entrepreneurs, but also Endeavor Board members and leading role models in the South African entrepreneurial space.

Many of the Endeavor Mentors who had worked with these entrepreneurs to build their businesses were present at the event. The core of the Endeavor model is mentorship, which means that Endeavor Entrepreneurs are supported by a network of world-class CEOs, business leaders, investors and academics in thinking bigger, making better decisions and multiplying their influence.