FUND YOUR BUSINESS
SOUTH AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS TELL YOU HOW
Cover story: Kristia van Heerden Cover concept: Zandri van Zyl Cover layout: Beku Mbotoli
THE BUSINESS OF starting a business can be a calculated affair or a haphazard series of events. There are many ways to go about starting and funding your own business. Finweek spoke to South African entrepreneurs who managed to raise enough capital to start a business – some of them bootstrapping passion projects, others turning to more formal means of raising funds. These inspirational entrepreneurs share their stories and dispense some advice.
1. THE PASSION PROJECT
Cover girl Jana Engelbrecht (30) is the mother of two – a four-year-old girl and a twoyear-old boy with another little girl on the way. She is also the creator of www.moomie.co.za, a parenting website and happy refuge for new mothers, pregnant women and those struggling to conceive. The website gets between 15 000 and 33 000 unique visitors per month and it is finally starting to turn a profit through advertising sales four years since its inception.
Engelbrecht’s journey started in 2009 as a bout of post-birth inspiration that soon turned into an all-consuming project. During her maternity leave, the new mother spent a lot of time reading parenting blogs and participating in forums for new mothers and pregnant women.
“At that time I belonged to a parenting forum, but there were a few problems and the forum started losing steam. I decided to create a forum of my own. I took a piece of paper and drew a sketch of what I wanted my forum to look like. I had no concept of what would be involved,” she explains.
In the first 18 months, Engelbrecht spent close to R40 000 of her own money on site development, graphic design and hosting. “There were a lot of financial implications that I didn’t even know about,” she says.
Not having the faintest idea of web design, she took her sketch to a developer a few months after the birth of her daughter and Moomie went live at the beginning of 2010. In a serendipitous turn of events, the forum Engelbrecht belonged to happened to crash around the time her website launched, and Moomie became the natural destination for anxious new moms who needed advice and