Raizcorp is, according to The Economist, the only genuine incubator in Africa. However, we prefer to think of ourselves as a Prosperator™ rather than an incubator. We provide business support for enthusiastic, growth-hungry entrepreneurs, offering them a platform that fosters learning and guidance, which can be translated into practical business success.
We also offer partnership opportunities, providing invaluable business guidance and support for your business. We guarantee you results! And, for Corporate Sponsors, we provide you with access to quality suppliers for Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) – not only for your own enterprise development benefits, but also to grow a high-quality and efficient supplier chain, which will improve your business operations and increase profits.
To ensure consistent delivery and a constant drive to succeed, you need the right people to lead the organisation. Our executive team include:
As the child of successful entrepreneurial parents, I was given the privilege of a good, private school education and earned two degrees in Marketing. I worked in my parents’ umbrella factory, and at the age of 22, I was responsible for supervising more than 200 people. I realised that I needed to be successful on my own, and so I left the security of my parents’ company. My family did not take my decision well, and I received no further support from them.
I approached a friend for a job in his ailing retail clothing chain, and it was here that I truly found my niche. I redesigned the stores, restocked the shelves, and started running innovative promotions. The stores began to boom, and the local press did an article on one of my promotions.
As fate would have it, this article was read by a local multibillionaire businessman. He took an interest in me and the way I thought about doing business. In late 1991, I was given the chance of a lifetime by this businessman – to start any business of my choosing, whilst being mentored through the process.
I had every advantage and privilege a new small business owner could ask for: an entrepreneurial family background; a good university education; guaranteed financial backing; an impeccable business mentor; and the freedom to choose any business I wanted to start.
Even though I had all of these advantages, a few months after it had opened, it was clear to everyone that my business was a complete failure. Still reeling from the personal devastation that failure creates, I approached my mentor with the intention of finding some means to pay him back. Rather than berating me for my failure, my mentor looked at me and said, “I agree, your business has failed. Knowing this, what would you do differently now?”
I had already put a lot of thought into the things that I should have done, and I laid them out for him. He then said something that changed my life: “I didn’t back your business. I backed you.”
My mentor told me that he would continue to support me, provided I would take the advice of a number of experienced business people he would put me in contact with. He said, “You may have failed in business, but you have been able to draw lessons from that failure. See it rather as a learning opportunity. Take those lessons and implement them in your business.”
He allowed me to learn from my failure and try again – and this time, paying attention to the team of Guides I had with me, I was able to grow the business into a success.
Having benefitted from true support and guidance as an entrepreneur, I asked the question, “With everything I was given, I failed. The financial backing, my education, the support of my friends and family: none of it prepared me for how hard it is to own your own business. In this type of environment, what happens to small business owners who don’t have all the privileges I was given?”
And so the idea of Raizcorp was born. Raizcorp is a means of paying forward the support, development, and encouragement I received from my mentor and the team of Guides I assembled around me. We have duplicated the formula for success that my mentor gave me, and created a safe environment where entrepreneurs can learn from their failures, and be given the chance to succeed and create wealth that they deserve.