By Ishani Chetty: Editor
Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Africa(E4E), a new venture capital fund aimed at building internationally successful businesses owned by South African entrepreneurs has launched.
Backed by a founding investment from the SA SME Fund, E4E is a venture capital fund that is operated by a range of experienced and innovative entrepreneurs.
The new fund is run by several successful entrepreneurs
The six founders of the new venture capital fund are experienced investors and entrepreneurs and have established a reputation for creating successful businesses both locally and internationally.
With a wealth of knowledge available, the founders can assist budding entrepreneurs on their journey and provide valuable insight into the world of entrepreneurship.
Empower black and female entrepreneurs
With a focus on supporting black and female entrepreneurship in early-stage ventures, E4E has positioned itself as a venture capital fund that can assist in bridging the gap for these marginalised groups, providing equal opportunity for all.
Aisha Pandor, an E4E partner and CEO of SweepSouth, explains that is often approached by early-stage entrepreneurs seeking guidance, advice on funding options, and often in her role as a female role model.
“It is great to be part of a structure that can transfer the experience, skills, and contacts my colleagues and I have built up over the years to the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
In addition, the venture capital fund will support business models that provide innovative solutions to important sectors of the South African economy, this includes financial services, sustainable agriculture, healthcare, and potential businesses that can expand beyond the local sector and enter the international market.
Down to business
Philani Sangweni, Managing Partner at E4E Africa explains that the company has already secured two investments and is wasting no time in implementing the fund.
“We’re hitting the ground running. We are starting our fund with an R135-million first close and aspire to raise significantly more funds. Before establishing as a fund, we were entrepreneurs, angel investors and many of us mentored early-stage ventures. This means we have a well-developed pipeline in place. As a result, we have approved two investments and expect to be able to close several other investments in the coming months. We have been really impressed with the quality of the entrepreneurs and business that we are seeing.”
Entrepreneurs and selected ventures will be guided and assisted by a number of experienced business leaders.
Bas Hochstenbach encourages experienced entrepreneurs to approach the fund and be apart of the exciting venture and play a pivotal role in shaping the minds of selected entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurial expertise, deep sector experience, and relevant contacts are critical to the success of our entrepreneurs. Investors that bring this help build a healthy startup ecosystem and drive good returns on their investments.”
Sangweni explains that the venture capital fund has been established at a time where the country could economically benefit from entrepreneurship and business growth.
“There are still major business and societal issues that need to be addressed fully in our country, and even more so under the current challenges we face. As a diverse and entrepreneurial team, we believe there is an opportunity here. Historical funding disparity and an immature eco-system represent an opportunity that we would like to turn into value creation for our entrepreneurs and investors, which will ultimately benefit the entire country into the long term,” he concludes.