The mas­ter­mind be­hind YDE

Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR -

En­tre­pre­neur Paul Simon is t he mas­ter­mind be­hind one of South Africa’s most c ut t ing-edge fash­ion re­tail­ers, Young De­sign­ers Em­po­rium ( YDE). With a di­ploma in fash­ion mar­ket­ing, a fa­ther adamant to see his son t urn i nto a pro­duc­tive mem­ber of so­ci­ety and a mother will­ing to sign surety, Simon launched the f irst YDE store in Green­mar­ket Square, Cape Town, in 1995.

For 10 yea r s , Simon nur t ured and grew t he busi­ness, even­tu­ally achiev­ing what few en­trepreneurs do – sell­ing at a prof it. The suc­cess of the fran­chise had at­tracted the at­ten­tion of re­tail fash­ion heavy­weight the Tru­worths Group, which bought a 75% share in the com­pany in 2003, and the re­main­ing 25% in 2005.

“I was made an of­fer t hat made f i nan­cial sense at t he t i me,” says Simon about the sale. “I also felt that the de­sign­ers de­served the re­sources

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