How Long Does It Take For Start-Ups to be Successful in South Africa

How long does it take for start-ups to be successful in South Africa? The road to entrepreneurial success is a dynamic and challenging one, filled with unique hurdles and opportunities. In a nation teeming with innovation and potential, understanding the journey of South African start-ups can provide valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts alike.

The journey of a start-up is akin to planting and nurturing a seed. It requires time, dedication, and the right conditions for growth. While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for success, understanding the typical trajectory of start-ups can help entrepreneurs set realistic expectations and make informed decisions as they navigate the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship. In this article, we will explore the initial years of a start-up’s life, common reasons for failure, strategies to improve success rates, and the importance of choosing the best sources of business funding.

How Long Does It Take For Start-Ups to be Successful

So, how long does it take for start-ups to be successful in South Africa?

Let’s embark on this enlightening journey through the early years of entrepreneurship, guided by the experiences of real businesses and the wisdom gained from their paths to success.

Now, let’s dive into the first section: Year One: Laying the Foundation.

Year One: Laying the Foundation

The first year of a start-up’s journey is often characterized by a mixture of excitement, uncertainty, and financial struggles. Entrepreneurs set out to turn their ideas into reality, and while the road ahead may be challenging, it’s also filled with small victories and rewarding experiences. This initial phase is crucial for laying the foundation on which the business will grow and thrive.

The Challenges of Year One

Year one can be a tumultuous period, as entrepreneurs grapple with a myriad of challenges. One of the most significant hurdles is financial instability. Many start-ups operate with limited capital, relying on personal savings or small loans to get off the ground. The initial investment often goes into product development, marketing efforts, and securing the necessary licenses and permits. This financial strain can lead to personal sacrifices as founders may need to forego regular salaries to keep the business afloat.

Another challenge is the steep learning curve. Entrepreneurs must navigate unfamiliar terrain, making critical decisions on aspects such as market positioning, target audience, and pricing strategies. This phase demands adaptability and a willingness to pivot when initial assumptions don’t align with market realities.

Celebrating Milestones

Amidst the challenges, year one also presents opportunities for celebration. Entrepreneurs can take pride in achieving significant milestones that mark the birth of their business:

Business Incorporation

Registering the business entity is a momentous step, transforming an idea into a legal entity recognized by authorities. It offers a sense of legitimacy and provides certain legal protections.

Launching a Website

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is paramount. Launching a website allows a start-up to establish its brand, showcase products or services, and reach a broader audience.

Media Attention

Gaining media coverage can be a game-changer for a start-up. Positive press can generate interest, credibility, and, most importantly, customers. It’s a validation of the business’s potential.

Growing the Client List

As the business gains traction, acquiring the first few clients is a significant achievement. These early customers become advocates and provide valuable feedback.

Personal Financial Stability

Perhaps one of the most rewarding milestones in year one is realizing that the start-up can cover personal bills. While the business may not be profitable yet, knowing that it can sustain its founder’s livelihood is a notable success.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This

Year one is a challenging yet rewarding period for entrepreneurs. Celebrate the small victories, from business incorporation to acquiring your first clients. While these initial successes are promising, remember that they do not guarantee long-term success. Perseverance and adaptability are key as you move into the subsequent years of your start-up journey. If you’ve made it through year one, you’ve overcome a significant hurdle, and that’s an accomplishment in itself.

Year one sets the stage, but the journey is far from over. In the following section, we’ll explore what entrepreneurs can expect during Year Two: Navigating Financial Realities.

Year Two: Navigating Financial Realities

The second year of a start-up’s journey is a critical phase where the initial successes of year one start to give way to a deeper understanding of the financial challenges ahead. This year often tests the resilience of entrepreneurs as they grapple with mounting debt, evolving market dynamics, and the realization that successful business initiation does not necessarily equate to long-term success.

The Financial Stress of Year Two

Year two is when the financial realities of running a start-up become all too apparent. By this point, many entrepreneurs have tapped into their savings, maxed out credit cards, and may even have borrowed funds from friends or family to keep the business afloat. The pressure to meet financial obligations intensifies, and the looming shadow of debt can cast a cloud of uncertainty.

Cash Concerns
One of the primary concerns in year two is cash flow. Managing operational expenses, paying employees (if any), and servicing debts can strain the business’s finances. Entrepreneurs often find themselves in a precarious position, needing to secure additional funding to sustain operations.

Customer Retention
Another realization during this phase is that early customers may not necessarily translate into long-term, loyal clients. Customer acquisition costs can be high, and retaining those hard-won clients becomes a priority. Entrepreneurs must focus on delivering value and building lasting relationships with their customer base.

The Transition to Sustainable Business

Year two marks a significant transition. Entrepreneurs begin to understand that successfully starting a business is not the same as running one that’s set up for long-term success. The focus shifts from merely staying afloat to achieving sustainable growth.

Growth Milestones
Success in year two is less about making a profit and more about hitting growth milestones. These milestones may be small in scale but are crucial indicators of progress. Expanding the client list, increasing market share, and optimizing operational efficiency become key objectives.

The Long Haul Mentality
Entrepreneurs must adopt a long-term perspective. While profitability may not be achieved in year two, it’s vital to recognize that building a sustainable business often takes several more years. This is a pivotal moment where commitment and determination to see the vision through become paramount.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This

Year two is a year of financial realities and transition. It’s a phase where the initial excitement and momentum from year one may wane, but it’s also an opportunity to fortify the business for long-term success. Expect financial challenges and cash flow concerns, but remember that growth milestones are markers of progress. To succeed in year two, focus on customer retention, cost management, and the commitment to the long haul. The road to success is rarely a sprint; it’s a marathon.

As the start-up journey progresses, entrepreneurs must remain resilient and adaptable. Year three brings its own set of challenges and opportunities, which we’ll explore in the next section: Year Three: Moving Towards Profitability.

startup activity in Africa

A report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor  states that three-quarters of the African working-age adults consider entrepreneurship a good career choice while 77% believe that entrepreneurs are admired in their societies.

Year Three: Moving Towards Profitability

In the third year of a start-up’s journey, the focus shifts towards achieving financial sustainability and, ideally, profitability. While the road to profitability may still stretch ahead, reaching this milestone represents a significant step forward. Year three is a pivotal period where entrepreneurs assess the viability of their business model, fine-tune operations, and make strategic decisions that can shape the company’s future and potential raise business growth capital.

Success Indicators in Year Three

Breaking Even or Making a Profit
By year three, entrepreneurs often set their sights on breaking even or, ideally, making a profit. This is a significant achievement and a sign that the business is moving in the right direction. Reaching this stage typically involves optimizing revenue streams, reducing unnecessary costs, and ensuring efficient operations.

Commitment to the Long Haul
Year three is often a make-or-break moment for entrepreneurs. Success may mean knowing that you have a strong business idea and the determination to push forward for the next couple of years to see it reach fruition. It’s a test of commitment to the long-term vision.

Reassessing Viability
For some start-ups, year three may also be a point of reckoning. Entrepreneurs may need to reassess whether their business is sustainable or whether they are willing to continue working at a grueling pace. It’s essential to recognize that not every venture will lead to long-term success, and that’s perfectly okay.

Fine-Tuning All Aspects of the Business

  • Strategic Growth
    Success in year three involves strategizing for continued growth. This may include expanding into new markets, diversifying product offerings, or exploring opportunities for scaling the business.
  • Building a Solid Team
    A successful start-up requires a dedicated and capable team. Year three is an ideal time to recruit and build a team that shares the company’s vision and can contribute to its growth.
  • Planning for Risk
    Entrepreneurs must be prepared to manage risks effectively. This may involve creating contingency plans, securing insurance, and proactively addressing potential challenges.
  • Leadership and Data-Driven Decisions
    As the business matures, leadership skills become increasingly important. Entrepreneurs should work on enhancing their leadership abilities and rely on data-driven insights to make informed decisions.
  • Financial Analysis
    Year three is an opportune time to delve deep into the financials. Entrepreneurs should closely examine which products or clients are driving the business and identify areas where expenses can be trimmed or investments can yield better returns.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This

Year three marks a pivotal stage in the start-up journey, where financial sustainability comes into focus. Whether you’re breaking even or turning a profit, it’s a clear indicator of progress. Use this time to fine-tune all aspects of your business, from strategic growth and team building to risk management and leadership. Remember that success may not come overnight, but the dedication and effort invested in year three set the stage for future achievements.

As we move forward in exploring the journey of start-ups in South Africa, we’ll delve into what lies beyond year three. In the next section, we’ll discuss what entrepreneurs can expect in Year Four and Beyond: Slow and Steady Growth.

Year Four and Beyond: Slow and Steady Growth

As a start-up ventures into year four and beyond, the expectations and objectives often shift. The concept of an “overnight success” gives way to the reality that true success is a gradual process, characterized by persistent effort, incremental advancements, and continuous learning. In this stage, a small business can start to reap the rewards of its sustained efforts, building a stronger and more stable foundation for the future.

Dispelling the Myth of Overnight Success

In the entrepreneurial world, the term “overnight success” is often associated with companies that seem to explode onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere. However, closer examination often reveals that these “overnight successes” have actually been years in the making. Many businesses that are called overnight successes have actually been around for about a decade or more, according to industry insights.

Instant success, where a business rapidly achieves widespread recognition and profitability, is indeed a remarkable feat but is by no means the rule of thumb. Entrepreneurs should view these stories as exceptions rather than the standard path to growth. Instead, it’s more reasonable to anticipate a journey marked by numerous setbacks, learning experiences, and incremental progress, often described as “failing forward.”

Markers of Success in Year Four and Beyond

As a start-up matures beyond year four, there are several markers of success that entrepreneurs can look for:

  • Sharper Brand Positioning
    A well-defined brand position in the market is crucial for standing out and attracting customers. By this stage, businesses should have a clear understanding of their unique value proposition.
  • Effective Marketing
    Years of market research and customer feedback should inform more effective marketing strategies. Understanding your target audience and crafting compelling messages become second nature.
  • More Efficient Management Team
    With growth comes the need for a capable management team. Successful businesses have strong leadership that can guide the company through challenges and seize opportunities.
  • Refined Process of Customer Acquisition
    Fine-tuning the process of acquiring and retaining customers is a continuous effort. By year four and beyond, businesses should have well-established customer acquisition strategies.
  • Better Product Development
    A deeper understanding of customer needs and market trends should lead to more refined product development processes. Businesses can develop products that align more closely with customer expectations.
  • Stronger Profit Margins
    Years of optimizing operations should result in improved profit margins. Cost efficiencies and revenue growth contribute to a healthier bottom line.
  • Figuring Out What Customers Actually Want
    Through years of interaction with customers and market research, businesses gain a deeper understanding of what their customers truly want. This insight can drive product innovation and better customer service.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This

Year four and beyond represent a phase of slow and steady growth. It’s essential for entrepreneurs to recognize that the myth of overnight success is just that—a myth. Instead, focus on markers of success such as brand positioning, efficient marketing, strong leadership, and improved profit margins. Understand that success often comes through continuous improvement and learning from mistakes. The journey may be long, but each step forward brings you closer to your goals.

These markers of success are not the endpoint but rather milestones on the path to building a sustainable and prosperous business. As we wrap up our exploration of the journey of South African start-ups, we’ll take a closer look at how businesses can secure the necessary funding for different stages of their growth in the next section: Choosing the Best Sources of Business Funding.

Screenshot 2023 09 10 at 23.09.21 1024x730 1 How Long Does It Take For Start-Ups to be Successful in South Africa

According to Investopedia there are a number of reasons why businesses fail.

Why Start-Ups Fail

While the path to start-up success can be rewarding, it’s also laden with pitfalls, and many businesses face the unfortunate reality of failure. Understanding the common reasons why start-ups fail is essential for entrepreneurs to navigate potential challenges and increase their chances of success. Here are some prevalent factors contributing to start-up failures:

Poor Market Fit

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: To avoid this pitfall, conduct thorough market research before launching your business. Understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points. Continuously adapt your product or service to meet changing market demands.

Insufficient Funding

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Secure adequate funding to support your start-up’s growth plans. Explore different funding sources, including investors, loans, grants, or bootstrapping, depending on your business’s needs and stage.

Fierce Competition

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Conduct a competitive analysis to identify your strengths and differentiators. Focus on delivering unique value to your customers, even in a crowded market.


Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Foster strong leadership and management skills or consider bringing in experienced team members. Establish clear processes and communication channels to avoid mismanagement issues.

Lack of Adaptability

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Embrace change and stay agile. Continuously gather feedback, monitor market trends, and be willing to pivot your business strategy when necessary.

Poor Marketing and Sales

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Invest in effective marketing and sales strategies. Understand your customer acquisition costs and work on converting leads into paying customers.

Inadequate Team

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Build a skilled and motivated team that aligns with your business’s goals. Provide ongoing training and create a positive work culture.

Legal and Regulatory Issues

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Consult legal experts to ensure your business complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Stay informed about industry-specific regulations that may impact your operations.

Lack of Customer Focus

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Prioritize customer feedback and satisfaction. Continuously refine your product or service based on customer needs and preferences.

Scaling Too Quickly

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Grow your business at a sustainable pace. Ensure your operations, infrastructure, and resources can support expansion without compromising quality.

Understanding why start-ups fail is a crucial aspect of entrepreneurship. It allows you to identify potential pitfalls and take proactive steps to mitigate risks. While the journey to start-up success is never guaranteed, learning from failures and applying these lessons can significantly improve your chances of building a resilient and thriving business.

Strategies to Improve Start-Up Success Rates

While the journey of entrepreneurship is filled with challenges, there are several strategies that can significantly improve a start-up’s chances of success. By adopting these approaches, entrepreneurs can navigate the complexities of the business world more effectively and increase the likelihood of achieving their long-term goals. Here are key strategies to enhance start-up success rates:

1. Write a Comprehensive Business Plan

A well-structured business plan serves as a roadmap for your start-up. It outlines your business goals, target market, competition, financial projections, and marketing strategies. While it may evolve over time, having a clear plan helps you stay focused and organized.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Invest time in crafting a thorough business plan that outlines your vision and strategy. It not only guides your actions but also attracts potential investors or lenders.

2. Limit Expenses Wisely

Many start-ups fail due to cash flow problems. Carefully manage your expenses by distinguishing between essential and non-essential costs. Prioritize spending on activities that directly contribute to your business’s growth and profitability.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Track your expenses diligently, and regularly review your budget. Avoid unnecessary overheads, especially in the early stages of your business.

3. Pay Your Business, Not Yourself

In the early stages, reinvest profits back into your business. Resist the temptation to pay yourself exorbitant salaries. Prioritize the financial health of your start-up by allocating funds for marketing, product development, and operational improvements.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Strike a balance between personal financial needs and the growth requirements of your business. Reinvest profits to fuel expansion and stability.

4. Be Selective

Entrepreneurs often face numerous opportunities and distractions. Learn to say no to projects, partnerships, or investments that do not align with your core business objectives. Focus on activities that move your start-up forward.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Maintain a clear vision of your business’s direction and objectives. Evaluate opportunities based on their potential to contribute to your long-term goals.

5. Prioritize Customer Needs

Successful start-ups prioritize customer-centric approaches. Invest in market research to understand your target audience’s pain points and preferences. Develop products or services that address these needs rather than trying to convince customers they need your offerings.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Listen to your customers and gather feedback continually. Your goal should be to provide solutions that solve their problems and meet their expectations.

6. Network Actively

Building relationships with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and industry experts can provide valuable insights, guidance, and opportunities. Networking can open doors to partnerships, collaborations, and potential investors.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Attend industry events, join entrepreneurship groups, and seek out mentors who can offer advice and support.

7. Watch the Numbers

Develop financial literacy and get comfortable with your accounting software. Regularly review key financial metrics to monitor profitability, cash flow, and business performance. Data-driven decisions are crucial for success.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Stay vigilant about your financial health. Analyze data to identify trends and make informed decisions that can drive your start-up forward.

8. Wait for Success but Be Pro-Active

Understand that overnight success is a rare exception. Most start-ups take time to become profitable, and even the fastest-growing companies face challenges. Give your business the time it needs to grow and succeed before considering other options.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Be patient and persistent. Success often requires perseverance and a long-term commitment to your vision.

Improving start-up success rates involves a combination of careful planning, financial prudence, customer focus, and adaptability. By implementing these strategies and learning from both successes and failures, entrepreneurs can enhance their chances of building thriving and sustainable businesses. While there are no guarantees in entrepreneurship, these approaches can significantly increase the odds of success.

Sources of Business Funding AT Different Stages of a Business 

How Long Does It Take For Start Ups to be Successful How Long Does It Take For Start-Ups to be Successful in South Africa

Choosing the Best Sources of Business Funding

Securing the right source of funding at various stages of your start-up’s journey is critical for sustaining growth and achieving long-term success. The right funding can provide the necessary capital to develop products, expand operations, and navigate challenges effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the best funding sources for different stages of your business:

1. Seed Stage (Year One)

  • Personal Savings
    Using your own savings is a common way to fund the initial stages of your business. It demonstrates your commitment and reduces the need for external financing.
  • Friends and Family
    Consider seeking investments from friends and family who believe in your idea. This can provide a relatively low-pressure source of capital.
  • Angel Investors
    Angel investors are individuals who provide capital in exchange for equity in your start-up. They often bring industry experience and valuable connections.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: In the seed stage, focus on securing smaller amounts of funding from personal savings, friends, family, or angel investors to validate your business idea and build a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP).

2. Early Growth (Year Two to Three)

  • Venture Capital (VC)
    Venture capital firms provide significant funding to start-ups in exchange for equity. This funding is suitable for businesses with high growth potential.
  • Crowdfunding
    Crowdfunding platforms allow you to raise money from a large number of individuals online. It’s an excellent option if your product or idea has mass appeal.
  • Small Business Loans
    Consider applying for small business loans from banks or financial institutions. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers various loan programs to support growing businesses.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: During the early growth stage, focus on securing funding that supports expansion, product development, and customer acquisition. Venture capital, crowdfunding, and small business loans are viable options.

3. Scaling (Year Four and Beyond)

  • Private Equity
    Private equity firms invest in established businesses with the goal of accelerating growth. They often provide significant capital in exchange for ownership stakes.
  • Corporate Investors
    Consider partnerships with larger corporations that can provide funding, resources, and distribution channels in exchange for equity or collaboration.
  • Government Grants and Subsidies
    Explore government programs and grants designed to support businesses in specific industries or regions. These can provide non-dilutive funding.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: During the scaling stage, focus on securing substantial funding to support aggressive growth and market expansion. Private equity, corporate investors, and government grants can be valuable sources.

Flexibility and Diversification

Keep in mind that your funding strategy should remain flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. Diversifying your funding sources can also reduce risk. For example, combining equity investment with revenue from customers (bootstrapping) can provide stability.

Entrepreneur Takeaway On This: Choose funding sources that align with your business’s growth stage and goals. Be open to exploring multiple funding options and adjusting your strategy as your business evolves.

Selecting the best sources of business funding is a strategic decision that should align with your business’s growth stage and objectives. Whether you’re in the seed stage, early growth phase, or scaling your business, there are funding options available to support your journey. Evaluating each source’s pros and cons and seeking professional advice when needed can help you make informed financing decisions that contribute to your start-up’s long-term success.

venture capital in Africa

VC Funding raised by start-ups in Africa so far in 2023

The journey of a start-up, whether in South Africa or anywhere else, is a remarkable and challenging endeavor filled with ups and downs. While there are no guarantees in entrepreneurship, understanding the stages and key milestones can help you navigate the path to success more effectively.

  • Patience and Persistence: One of the most critical takeaways is the need for patience and persistence. Overnight success stories are the exception, not the rule. Most businesses take years to become profitable and stable. Embrace the journey, learn from your experiences, and keep pushing forward.
  • Strategic Planning: Success often hinges on strategic planning. Crafting a solid business plan, managing finances prudently, and making data-driven decisions are essential elements of effective planning. Continuously refine your strategies as your business evolves.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Prioritize your customers’ needs and feedback. Building a loyal customer base is crucial for long-term success. Listen to their voices, adapt your products or services, and provide excellent customer service.
  • Resilience and Adaptability: Challenges are part of entrepreneurship. The ability to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to changing circumstances is a key attribute of successful entrepreneurs. View failures as opportunities for growth.
  • Continuous Learning: The world of business is constantly evolving. Keep learning, stay updated with industry trends, and seek advice from mentors and peers. The more knowledge you acquire, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions.
  • Networking and Support: Building a network of mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and industry experts can provide invaluable guidance, support, and opportunities. Don’t hesitate to reach out and collaborate with others on your entrepreneurial journey.

Remember that every start-up’s path is unique, and success can take different forms. It may mean reaching profitability, achieving growth milestones, or simply realizing that a different path is the right one for you. Regardless of the outcome, the experience of building and growing a business is a valuable and transformative one.

Stay focused on your goals, embrace the lessons learned along the way, and remain committed to the vision that inspired your entrepreneurial journey. Whether you’re just starting or deep into the growth stage, the challenges you face are opportunities in disguise. With determination and a strategic mindset, you can navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship and chart a course towards success.

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Matthew Musgrove

Matthew Musgrove

Matthew is an entrepreneur and business Advisor with a passion for change management and social empowerment. With a background in business accounting and advisory, as well clinical research project management, he strives to find strategic and sustainable solutions to business problems.



Mark Van Hoff comes from background of technical & production planning, budgeting & scheduling of major live events. As the first production co-ordinator at M-NET for Outside Broadcasts, Mark has managed major local and international productions including Miss South Africa, Miss World, multiple music events and major sports events, including the PnP Cycling Tour.​Mark co-founded Van-Man Productions in 1994, Page to Picture in 2000 and Move Media Networks in 2007. All three companies have achieved domestic success and have been well-regarded in the South African production industry.



Oluwaseun Adewuyi who is the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Caban, is a Certified Chartered Accountant, with Fellowship status at both the ACCA as well as the Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a UK Based industry body with a specific focus on the management of charities, not-for-profit organisations and NGOs.. Oluwaseun comes with strong business acumen and 20+ years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within well-reputed and high growth organisations Including Next Plc and Royal Mail. He has been heavily involved in impact investment across Sub-Saharan Africa and has been instrumental in the creation of a series of community schools in West Africa. Throughout his career, he oversaw a broad range of operations, including Business Strategy and Business Reorganisation, summarising the organisation’s financial status, and coordinating the preparation of tactical plans, financial forecasts, and budgets. Adept at developing and implementing effective internal control framework to maintain sound financial accountability.

tim scholtz


Tim Scholtz, who's is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Caban Investments, is experienced in implementing corporate governance guidelines, formulating risk management structures, process and cost optimization. Tim has a strong corporate background, having worked as COO at the South African Tourism board, was COO at the Nelson Mandela foundation and as a internal audit manager at Arthur Anderson earlier in his career.

Ben Botes


Ben Botes is Entrepreneur, VC, co-Founder, Author and Academic with a strong social conscience. Ben Involved with early stage and growth firms for the past 20 years and has been Co-founder of 9 separate businesses across Africa. Ben has directly and indirectly been involved in impact investment and the support of charities and non profits for the last 30 years. Ben is a regular speaker at the African Investment Conference in London and has been featured in Wall Street for Europe, The Guardian Small Business, BBC, the Mail and Guardian in the UK and BizCommunity, Channel 3 TV, Investors Weekly, The Cape Times, Radio 702 with John Robbie and Good Hope FM in South Africa

Dave Romero


Dave Romero is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with a passion for making an impact. A qualified Professional Accountant, Dave has been a director in multiple financial institutions and was once the youngest Chairman on the JSE, in addition to being listed as one of Business Times’ Top 100 companies and the 40th fastest-growing company in South Africa. Dave is a core founder of the Caban Group, which aims to provide a comprehensive service offering to small businesses in return for equity. With a passion for nurturing entrepreneurs, Dave can often be found outside of the boardroom – offering advice, creating innovative funding solutions and building communities through sustainable practices.



Dr Ruben Richards is a truly inspirational South African leader. Through his peace-building seminars for criminal gangs, Dr Ruben has facilitated the longest ceasefire in the history of gang warfare on the Cape Flats. In addition to being Chairman & Founder of the non-profit Ruben Richards Foundation, Dr Ruben is an ordained cleric, company director, non-executive Chairman of Visual International Limited and was once the Deputy Director-General of the now-disbanded Scorpions.