Building on the success of the 2015 event, the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (a specialised unit at the UCT Graduate School of Business) is partnering with the Awethu Project and LifeCo UnLtd SA this year to take the Pathways to Funding Do-ference to Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The Do-ference roadshow aims to connect more than 500 early-stage entrepreneurs with successful (social) entrepreneurs, investors, business development experts, lawyers, etc. across the country. The Do-ference teaches delegates how to raise funding through practical mini-workshops, inspirational talks, and one-on-one sessions. It seeks to equip these early stage entrepreneurs (and potential entrepreneurs) with the tools they need to secure funding to start, incubate or grow their businesses.
The focus on practical fundraising tools aim to contribute to an increased understanding of the funding landscape in South Africa and improve the entrepreneurs’ effectiveness in accessing funding. By having local investors and other industry experts present the content, the entrepreneurs get to build their network, ask the questions they always wanted to, and ultimately take their business to the next level.
Topics will include:
- Opportunities in Enterprise Development Funds
- Unpacking early stage equity
- Getting your ducks a row – a session on investment readiness
- Is early stage crowdfunding right for your enterprise?
- Exploration of ideation and seed funding
- Growth stage crowd lending
- Maximising growth with layered funding structures
- Leading Non-profits and Social Enterprises in South Africa
“If you are you trying to seed or scale your enterprise, then our Do-ference is designed for you,” says Tine Fisker Henriksen, Impact Investing Project Manager at the Bertha Centre. “The Do-ference is designed to help you “do” - to go out and raise funding. Whether your business is in the ideation, incubation, implementation or scale phase, our mix of content and speakers will help answer your exact needs and questions.”
The two-day event has been designed to deliver practical knowledge and tools through interactive workshops, specialised one-on-one sessions and TED-style talks, around raising early-stage finance that can advance the growth of your business.
Last year three young men drove from Mafikeng to Cape Town, embarking on a 14-hour journey to attend the Pathways to Funding Do-ference. Their Mafikeng Innovation Hub (MIH) has since flourished having hosted events with partners such as Microsoft, UNISA and the University of the North West. They are now working on their MIH vision for 2025, which includes seeing Mafikeng become a Silicon City.
Another success story coming out of last year's Do-ference is that of Sinako Urban Farms. Sinako Urban Farms focuses on finding solutions to pressing nutritional, environmental and health issues in communities. They are a permaculture inspired non-profit organisation operating in Gugulethu. Last year Vuyani Qamata, a Project Coordinator at Sinako, attended the Do-ference and through a one-on-one session with Eighteen East Capital, he was introduced to other partners who assisted him in securing sponsorship from the Spur Foundation.
Speakers for the 2016 Do-ference include: Pat Pillai (Founder and CEO, LifeCo UnLtd), Bathabile Mpofu (winner of the 2016 Total Startupper of the year award and Managing Director, Nkazimulo Applied Sciences), Jayshree Naidoo (Head of the Standard Bank Incubator), and Aisha Pandor (Founder, SweepSouth) to name a few.
Tickets cost R300 per day, or R500 for both days with scholarships and group rates available. One-on-one sessions can also be pre-booked with those experts who have availed themselves. The Do-ference will take place on the following dates in the three cities:
Durban:<!> 7-8 September
<!>Johannesburg:<!> 12-13 September
<!>Cape Town:<!> 15-16 September
For complete event information and to purchase tickets visit path2fund2016.topi.com. Questions can be directed to az.ca.tcu.bsg@ecnanifevitavonni. Also check out the #path2fund 2015 video here.