Raizcorp and Loeries host first Pair Fair to match entrepreneurs and creatives

Over the past two years, leading business-development expert organisation Raizcorp has been partnering with the Loeries to offer branding and advertising masterclasses to creatives and entrepreneurs. This year, the collaboration took an entirely new direction with the introduction of the Pair Fair. This concept is the brainchild of Mama Agency, and has the goal of partnering growing entrepreneurial businesses with young creatives to grow exciting and innovative brands in the market.

The first event took place on Thursday, 13 June. The guest speaker was Robbie Brozin, the cofounder of Nando’s, who spoke about the collaboration between Nando’s and Hunt Lascaris (now TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris) when both businesses were in their infancy. Nando’s first brief to Hunt Lascaris was that they wanted to grow big on the back of creativity with an agency who wanted to win awards. Their very first television ad was banned (it answered the question of where Nando’s chicken came from with footage of two birds behaving badly). Nando’s had completely blown their budget on media placement so they had to come up with a replacement ad immediately (this time it was around their sauces and featured a chicken barking). These ads established the cheeky personality of the brand and were created with very little money. Nando’s aim was to take on the big guys in the fast-food industry by being edgy and creative.

Robbie’s core message to the audience of entrepreneurs and creatives was that you don’t need lots of money to be creative. As he put it, “We were brave and we had a brave agency.” (Nando’s now operates in 23 countries across the world and has over 12 000 restaurants.) He went on to say that South Africa’s creativity is the best in the world, mentioning the diaspora of South African creative directors across the globe. He continued, “We are bursting with creativity. In times of turmoil and shortages, we get creative. As South African creatives, we underestimate our potential which is nonsense. We are world class.”

He also touched on how entrepreneurs and creatives need to be in for the long run and push through all the struggles, saying, “It took Nando’s 15 years to become an overnight success!”

Aimed at inspiring the next Nando’s–Hunt Lascaris success story, Robbie’s fascinating talk was followed by the Pair Fair which saw 20 entrepreneurs and 20 creatives seated across from each other to pitch their businesses and ideas for three minutes at a time, before moving on to the next person in a speed-dating type format. The energy and excitement in the room were palpable as people connected with each other. Says Dominique from Flume, a digital agency, “I’ve met some incredible entrepreneurs who are just so innovative. It’s cool to see how many creative people there are in South Africa wanting to start new businesses. It’s been really awesome.”

Guests at the event walked away with a goodie bag containing Allon Raiz’ best-selling book What to do when you want to give up, three months of free premium co-working space at The Business Exchange (TBE) and a pitching preparation pack. Based on the success of this initial event, more Pair Fairs will be arranged over the course of the year.

Photo captions

  1. Robbie Brozin, cofounder of Nando’s, addresses creatives and entrepreneurs at the first Pair Fair hosted by Raizcorp and the Loeries.
  2. The next Nando’s and Hunt Lascaris dream team? Creatives and entrepreneurs connect at the first Pair Fair hosted by Raizcorp and the Loeries.