StartupsSouth Africa’s Top 26 Entrepreneurs: Impacting the Economy

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During his recently delivered 2020 Budget Speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni stated that entrepreneurs will ignite the economy and drive job creation. Proving his words are the 26 entrepreneurs being supported by Endeavor South Africa who, over the past three years, have delivered phenomenal growth – fuelling job creation, propelling the economy and inspiring future generations of leaders.

Job creation

Between 2017 and 2019, these entrepreneurs collectively created over 4,650 additional jobs, with a 29% annual growth in headcount over the past three years driven predominantly by SweepSouth and Call Force. This is especially important for South Africa, given the country’s exorbitantly high unemployment rate of 29%. At the end of 2019, all the businesses combined employed a total of 11,670 people.

Annual Revenue

The companies in the Endeavor South Africa portfolio generated an impressive R11.5bn of revenue in the period from 2017 to 2019, with R4.7bn being amassed in 2019 alone. This equates to an average annual revenue of between R200m and R220m per business and an annual revenue growth of 27% per annum – an achievement that is particularly impressive in light of the South African economy growing at 1%.

Smaller businesses in the group (with turnover between R0m and R50m) enjoyed 41% growth per annum, while medium-sized businesses (with turnover between R50m to R500m) experienced growth in excess of 35%. Larger businesses (with a turnover of R500m or more) saw growth exceeding 21%. Fast-scaling tech players within the cohort have grown their revenue by approximately 47% year-on-year. Additionally, four entrepreneurs – Flexclub, Pargo, Retail Engage and Wyzetalk – delivered annual growth, ranging from 73% to 186%, between 2018 and 2019.

Capital Raised

In addition, over the past three years, 70% of these businesses have successfully raised capital to the value of over R1.4bn. Most recently, in January 2020, Skynamo successfully raised $30m led by US-based Venture Capital firm, Five Elms Capital.

Diversity

Endeavor South Africa is proud to note that +20% of these businesses are led by Black founders and +25% are led by female entrepreneurs.

“Endeavor strives to make a sustained social impact by supporting high-growth entrepreneurs whose innovations are transforming lives, the nation and the entire economy for generations to come. The 26 entrepreneurs currently in our portfolio range from software, fintech and education, to retail and healthcare and are shaping a new innovation-led landscape for the local consumer. By selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs in SA, we are maximising job creation, driving long-term economic growth and cultivating rising leaders and role models,” says Endeavor South Africa Managing Director, Alison Collier.

Endeavor South Africa Chairman, Herman Bosman, adds: “I’m proud to have been able to play a small part in driving our economy’s revenue growth and job creation through supporting scaling medium-sized entrepreneurs. By championing these entrepreneurs, Endeavor South Africa is not only making a positive difference in our country but is also contributing to Endeavor’s global movement that’s founded on the belief that job creation, innovation and overall prosperity flourish where there is robust support for high-impact entrepreneurs. This ethos is validated by the impressive performance and impact of these 26 entrepreneurs and will no doubt be augmented in the years to come thanks to Endeavor’s paying it forward philosophy.”

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