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Endeavor SA has made significant strides in advancing the country's economic and social development, and continues to transform South Africa through the gold standard of High-Impact Entrepreneurship.
South Africa, like most emerging markets, has remarkable potential and entrepreneurial spirit, while still facing serious challenges of inequality and low economic growth. Entrepreneurship is considered one of the keys to address these challenges through social change, driving innovation, job creation, and economic growth. South Africa’s entrepreneurs, like most, find access to markets and access to funding as some of the greatest challenges limiting their growth. The South Africa market offers a good first ‘test’ market for tech entrepreneurs, as many leading global corporates are present in South Africa, has very sophisticated financial services industry, the SA’s people costs are lower versus developed markets and SA has similar problems in lower-income segments to many other African states & emerging markets.
Endeavor South Africa opened its offices in 2004 and operates in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Since its launch, Endeavor South Africa has enlisted the support of 165 active mentors who provide rich expertise in a variety of industries. Currently, 90% of the Endeavor South Africa portfolio are tech-enabled entrepreneurs and span many verticals including: Fintech, Software-as-a-Service, HealthTech, Agtech, Edtech, SmartCity, Consumer Platforms amongst others.
Between 2017 and 2020, the 28 high-impact entrepreneurs in the Endeavor South Africa portfolio achieved a weighted average revenue growth of 24% per annum, and increased employment by 16% annually generating an incremental R2.6bn in revenue and creating over 4300 additional jobs. These South African Endeavor entrepreneurs tripled their capital raising from R700m in 2019 to R2bn in 2020 and are forecasted to raise more than R3bn in 2021, signaling the strong and growing commercial opportunity that entrepreneurs (particularly tech-enabled ones) offer. This increase has been fuelled by the growth of South Africa-based tech-enabled entrepreneurs selling their solutions to the large international markets (driven by accelerated digitization and 2020’s boom in remote working) and an increased appetite from international venture capital firms for these high-growth South African companies.
Endeavor South Africa plays a catalyst role in supporting high-impact and high-growth entrepreneurs, taking a long-term view to economic growth using the Endeavor model, which connects entrepreneurs to international skills and expertise that they would otherwise not have.
Endeavor South Africa also collaborates with strategic partners on programs tailored to address the specific needs of the South African context. These partnerships have led to the development of projects like the “Local Scale-Up” program aimed at preparing local companies for international growth as well as other structured mentoring initiatives focused on promoting transformation and diversity in the accelerated economic participation of black-owned and founder-led businesses.
South African entrepreneurs have the potential to be market leaders and role models: providing much-needed and productive solutions to address the challenges faced by the country.
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