Thursday, December 2, 2010

Angel Investors increasingly focusing on Cape Town as Entrepreneurial Hub

Both angel investors and venture capital providers are increasingly open to business plans and business finance opportunities in Cape Town. The city is fast becoming the entrepreneurial hub of Southern Africa supported by Business Plan Software providers SA Start-up system, the Silicon Cape Initiative and the University of Stellenbosch enterprise initiative. Entrepreneurs are increasingly encouraged and supported to grow their ideas.

Cape Town is fast becoming an important centre for the hosting of entrepreneurship events and could soon become the primary meeting place for entrepreneurs in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (Wesgro).

Over the past two weeks Cape Town has played host to the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) University Cape Town conference, the Endeavour Foundation conference, the Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week (CTEW) and the Business2Business Expo. Last week, the city also organised the Global Entrepreneurship Week from 15-19 November spanning 104 countries and including 10 million participants.

Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten, who presented on Global Competitiveness – Accessing the global eco-system at the CTEW at the University of the Western Cape, said: “These great events show that the challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs are finally beginning to get the attention it deserves.”

“The fact that a large percentage of all start-ups worldwide fail within the first year shows just how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to survive, and the state of the global economy is going to make success for entrepreneurs even more challenging,” Flaatten added.

Flaatten believes that in South Africa, a country that has 48.9 million people, with only five million tax payers, growing the number of entrepreneurs is essential to the financial success of the country.

Flaatten calculated that if South Africa could create 20,000 entrepreneurs who each created 50 jobs, the country would recover the million jobs it lost as a result of the global financial crisis.

Wesgro has found substantial opportunities for entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur business linkages in Africa, especially around food products, stationary and household goods.

“Capital in Europe, owned by entrepreneurs who typically run businesses that employ 300 to 500 people, is looking for a new home, because it cannot find the growth it needs in the Euro Zone. South African entrepreneurs need to seize this moment,” said Flaatten.

Cape Town is home to over 5,000 IT entrepreneurs who have successfully merged software development and telephony.

As the official Investment and Trade Promotion Agency for the Western Cape, Wesgro has contributed to the development of the Western Cape economy since 1982.

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