Africa Business Talks To Raizcorp

Raizcorp is Africa’s only unfunded for-profit business incubator model, which provides full-service business support programmes that guide entrepreneurs to profitability. Drawing on the best practices of business incubator models, worldwide, Raizcorp has created “Prosperation™” – its own unique, world-renowned model of business incubation. Raizcorp works with entrepreneurs, corporates and governments around the globe in order to support entrepreneurial development strategies and initiatives.

Raizcorp:
•    was founded in 2000 unofficially and 2002 officially
•    has over 900 companies that have graduated from its Prosperator™ programmes
•    currently supports 400 plus companies in Prosperation™ programmes
•    develops over 3 000 companies per annum in “other” programmes
•    has 8 physical business incubators known as Prosperators™ (7 in RSA and 1 in Angola)
•    is in discussions and negotiations with numerous African countries
•    employs approximately 109 full time staff
•    has been profitable since 2006
•    operates using urban, peri-urban and rural models
•    processes between 10 and 40 applications to incubation programmes per day

Nelson Sebati, is an Entrepreneur and Enterprise and Supplier Development Specialist at Raizcorp. He has 10 years’ experience in recruitment, talent acquisition, career transitioning & on-boarding, with a specific focus on IT and Executive skills. He is a qualified Career Strategist and Job Search Coach. Nelson is also a certified BBBEE Champion and BBBEE Master. He studied Entrepreneurship at Wits Business School, Law at UNISA, BBBEE at School of Business Leadership among other numerous qualifications and is currently a member of the YBSA, BMF, REC-UK, APSO, CSSA, ASA-USA, and IoDSA.

1. WHAT IS RAIZCORP ALL ABOUT?

Raizcorp is Africa’s only unfunded for-profit business incubator model, which provides full-service business support programmes that guide entrepreneurs to profitability.

Drawing on the best practices of business incubator models, worldwide, Raizcorp has created “Prosperation™” – its own unique, world-renowned model of business incubation.

2. HOW IS THE ORGANISATION RUNNED?

Raizcorp works with entrepreneurs, corporates and governments around the globe in order to support entrepreneurial development strategies and initiatives.

3. WHEN WAS THE GROUP FOUNDED AND WHY?

Raizcorp was founded in 2000 unofficially and 2002 officially, after it was discovered that within ten years of opening the businesses, 96% of all entrepreneurs fail; and in this environment, Raizcorp has made it its life’s purpose to turn this statistic around.

4. WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENNING SO FAR?

The group has over 900 companies that have graduated from its Prosperator, programmes currently supports 400 plus companies in Prosperation, programmes develops over 3 000 companies per annum in “other” programmes has 8 physical business incubators known as Prosperators (7 in RSA and 1 in Angola). IT is also in discussions and negotiations with numerous African countries.

The groups employs approximately 109 full time staff. We been profitable since 2006. We operate using urban, peri-urban and rural models processes between 10 and 40 applications to incubation programmes per day.

5. WHAT IS THE DESTINATION?

Raizcorps’s mission is to increase the survival rate of small businesses by providing them with a proven model, capable of both scaling and adaptation to various economic and socio-political environments. The 4% of small businesses that do survive are doing something right: Raizcorp’s achievement is founded on our ability to identify and capture this entrepreneurial spirit, thereby building and growing successful and, most importantly, profitable entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, capturing the entrepreneurial spirit relies on new ways of thinking about business. For this reason, business plans do not interest Raizcorp – it is common knowledge that they are not predictors of success. In their stead, Raizcorp looks at the psychological makeup of the entrepreneur: it is the hearts and minds of entrepreneurs that will, ultimately, determine their success.

6. WHICH OTHER AREAS DO YOU FOCUS ON?

The focus at Raizcorp is on quality, not quantity. It is thus a model built on measuring efficacy: Raizcorp prides itself on its ability to measure the impact of its interventions across each of its key focus areas – sales, marketing, strategy, finance, and personal development.

7. CAN YOU TELL US THE ACTIVITIES YOU ARE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Currently, Raizcorp is involved in wide-ranging projects, from deep rural environments to its headquarters in urban Johannesburg. This is testimony both to the adaptability of the model and Raizcorp belief that entrepreneurs hold the key to unlocking wealth in the developing world.

8. WHAT INSPIRES RAIZCORP TO CONTINUE DOING WHAT IT IS DOING?

As such, its unparalleled track record and remarkable track record has led to Raizcorp being recognised by the *World Economic Forum*, the *African Heritage Society*, and many other local and international socio-economic organisations as a pioneer in the field of business incubation.

The unprecedented success of Raizcorp’s projects led the US Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale to visit Raizcorp in 2011. She lauded Prosperation as “a model for Africa”.

Raizcorp’s innovative high-touch, adaptable entrepreneurial development programmes and its successful funding model allow Raizcorp to meet the local economic development investment needs of large companies, multinational corporations, government agencies, and NGOs.

Also, many international and local universities have incorporated Raizcorp’s work into their MBA programmes. These include Harvard Business School, The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), The Haas School of Business (University of California: Berkeley), The Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria – South Africa).

9. ANY OTHER SUCCESS STORIES?

As Africa’s premier business incubator model, *Raizcorp has developed a rigorous selection process.* This documented, measurable, and replicable process, a core feature of Raizcorp’s methodology, ensures that those who make it into the various programmes are indeed those with the highest potential to succeed. Once selected, the entrepreneurs are exposed to a high-touch support programme that produces excellent results.

10. HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT EASIER FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS MODEL?

As a small business incubator, Raizcorp instils an opportunity mindset into the entrepreneurs that are accepted into its programmes.

Raizcorp also offers unique solutions combining coaching (by qualified Raizcorp Guides), courses, and facilitation to help entrepreneurs enrolled in the various programmes offered by the company to grow their businesses.

The Raizcorp Model is represented by a unique six-tier pyramid consisting of infrastructure, personnel, learning, guiding, sales, and magic!

All programmes have the core objective of fundamentally increasing the entrepreneurial culture of the communities that they affect.

By developing a culture of entrepreneurship, Raizcorp ensures that entrepreneurial thinking spreads across and transcends generations. Each Raizcorp product is created using a combination of the various elements of the Model depicted below:

Infrastructure:

Raizcorp focuses intensely on *providing companies with the infrastructure required* to get a small business off the ground, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on building their business without having to be concerned with the setup costs and effort of creating an office environment.

Personnel:

Raizcorp employs full-time staff whose role it is to *assist entrepreneurs to meet their business objectives*. These include, among others, chartered accountants, bookkeepers, trainers, guides, receptionist, administrative assistant, cleaners, and hospitality hostesses.

Learning:

In association with the Da Vinci Institute, the learning offered by *Raizcorp is accredited by the CHE (the South African Council for Higher Education).*

Therefore, Raizcorp acts as a Faculty of Entrepreneurship, allowing beneficiaries to accumulate credits towards a diploma or degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Learning is seen as the core of Raizcorp’s value-add. The Raizcorp curriculum is aimed at developing and honing life skills as well as business acumen.

Guiding:

Guiding is one of Raizcorp’s most intensive and specialised offerings. *The Raizcorp Guiding Academy has been accredited by SFEDI *(the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative), the standards setting body for entrepreneurial development of the UK government.

In Raizcorp’s enterprise development programmes, beneficiaries receive specialised interventions from various Growth Guides in the following areas: personal growth, marketing, sales, finance, and strategy. Please see supporting documentation for press coverage of Raizcorp’s SFEDI accreditation.

Sales and Networking.

Raizcorp is a readily-available market. As Raizcorp grows, so too does the market for each company’s services and products. Many of the Raizcorp companies sell their services to one another, as well as the greater market. Raizcorp also provides assistance in the creation of linkage programmes. Raizcorp works with Principals to develop their beneficiaries into their own supply chains. Raizcorp also provides intense guidance by offering several sales programmes and functions.

Magic:

The entrepreneurial journey is often a lonely one. Raizcorp understands this. This is why we value community and create a positive, encouraging, supportive, and friendly environment for and with our beneficiaries. Companies understand that, as a community, we are stronger than as individuals. It is difficult to define ‘magic’. Perhaps, this is best left to one our beneficiaries:

“*I have had to walk barefoot for two days just to feel grounded. To be part of this great energy called Raizcorp … it is truly magic. It has given me back to myself.” – Lwazi Hlope, 2009 *SEED – Raizcorp’s LED division.

11. WHERE TO FROM HERE?

By 2020, Africa has the potential to create 72 million more stable wage-paying jobs. This figure, published in Africa at work, a 2012 McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, is based on the strong economic growth that the continent has been experiencing for a decade as the second-fastest growing region globally.

The experience of countries such as Thailand, South Korea, and Brazil suggests that these wage-paying jobs will be created across all sectors.

These jobs would lift millions out of poverty, raise living standards across the continent, and entrench economic growth by strengthening Africa’s emerging consuming class.

To achieve this, however, policy makers and business leaders will have to map out explicit private sector job creation strategies – and then deliver on them.

In addition, SEED is the division of Raizcorp dedicated to developing and delivering entrepreneurial support and development initiatives to achieve the strategic Local Economic Development (LED) objectives of Raizcorp’s government, corporate, development agency, and local community partners.

Raizcorp’s SEED programmes are designed to take account of the general complexities of doing business in the developing world and to be adaptable to the specific challenges to be found at a local level. These programmes empower and educate local entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs to generate the employment their communities require – and to link their local industries to national and international markets.

Further, the SEED programmes produce results because their delivery is based on detailed, on-site contextual analyses combined with Raizcorp’s highly successful and adaptable enterprise development approaches and methodologies.

12. IS THE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?

Our Website www.raizcorp.com has more information including our contacts.

Share
This entry was posted in African News, Interview, South Africa News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply