Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - BY KRIS­TIA VAN HEER­DEN

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.


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, 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

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