South African Businesses 2014

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Return to South Africa: Bridge International Project

Here is a quick review of the ventures that where successfully chosen for the first year pilot of the Bridge International project. This list includes the seven businesses that were selected for the UK visit in April 2014, followed by the runners-up that attended the Stellenbosch bootcamp in January 2014.

Businesses the UK visit - April 2014

Brand InScentives
Brand InScentives is inspired and transported by all things fragrance. The heart of our business is fragrance but we are also specialists in the delivery thereof. We currently scent spaces, from large casinos to small retail outlets, with a variety of diffusers - most of which we manufacture. The goal of scent marketing is to create an ambience, enhance moods and motivate and direct consumer behaviour. The scent of pina colada in a travel agency, coffee early morning in a hotel, margarita at an upmarket cocktail bar or a signature scent designed for and diffused throughout a chain distinguishes one brand or product from another and reinforces brand awareness.

Glasschem was established in 1993 as a scientific glassblowing company with one staff member. Since then we have grown to eight people with a vast amount of skills between us all. Since training scientific glassblowers has almost seized in South Africa we had to train our own artisans. The advantage of that was that we are permanently in a training cycle of skills. Our current skills base are scientific glassblowing, electrical wiring, stainless steel sheet metal manufacturing, 3D mechanical cad drawing, and microprocessor programming. We utilise the latest software like ZW 3D cad (mechanical draughting) and Proteus for microprocessor simulation and product development.

The Herbal Horse
The Herbal Horse cc is a closed corporation that manufactures, packs, distributes and markets herbal supplements for horses, dogs and cats. We started the company in March 2000. Up until September 2006, The Herbal Horse cc was jointly owned by Deidre Peternell and Beryl Shuttleworth. On 1 September 2006, Beryl bought out Deidre's share in the business and is now the sole owner. We have slowly grown The Herbal Horse and Pet from a hobby to a successful nationwide supplier of natural remedies to horse and pet owners in South Africa. We also export, mostly to the Middle East.

Reel Gardening
Reel Gardening manufactures a patented biodegradable seed strip that enables people with little knowledge or resources to plant their own vegetables, herbs and flowers. The strip anchors the seed at the correct depth, and places them at the correct distance a part to enable easy planting and improved germination in any environment. All you need to do is make a furrow, plant and watch your garden grow. Claire Reid invented Reel Gardening in 2002, at the age of 16. It has won numerous awards as it saves 80% water and inspires people to get excited about vegetable gardening. Reel Gardening began operation as a company in 2010 and has since grown from strength to strength.

Ubuntuism clothing is an active wear brand based on the African philosophy of ubuntu. Ubuntuism inspires young and old to reflect the greatness within through what they wear. The Ubuntuism brand encapsulates creative and positively inspiring messages coupled with striking visuals to create highly appealing, vibrant active wear. The products we create, distribute, market and sell bear the positive messages of Ubuntuism. Ubuntuism is thus woven into the fabric of African life. Products include men's, ladies' and kids' t-shirts, headwear, hooded sweaters and tracksuit tops.

ValueFinder successfully developed a non-traditional, highly sophisticated and award winning methodology with supporting technology to overcome the limitations of traditional business intelligence tools, to change the way companies are managed in an environment of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Since 2009, ValueFinder's solutions-based analytics and propriety software were tested and contested in various industry sectors, whilst sustaining an annual income growth of 20%. During 2013, ValueFinder was successfully implemented in the United Kingdom. The shareholders are keen to develop the UK market, with a world class offering to create local and off-shore employment opportunities that will generate foreign exchange.

Wand-A-Brush was established to fill a gap in the female grooming market. Stylists and consumers use the same technique when blow-drying with conventional blow dry brushes. They all tend to leave the brush in the hair after blow-drying to let the hair cool down on the brush. It is a proven fact that hair that cools down on the brush retains its style and adds measurably more volume to the hair because the hair cools down away from the scalp. But this method is very frustrating as the brushes always fall out of the hair because of the weight of the handle and the heavy construction of the brush itself. This led us to extensive research, which included the expertise of design engineers and manufacturers who could fulfil all our requirements.

Other businesses South Africa Bootcamp - January 2014

Fresh Earth Bake House
Fresh Earth Bake House is an industrial bakery specialising in gluten-free baked goods. We supply retailers such as Dis-Chem, Pick-n-Pay and Spar with bread, rolls, cakes, biscuits and other specialised baked goods. We supply nationally and comply with FSSC standards. Our facility has the capacity to manufacture in the excess of ten thousand units a day. One of our main revenue streams in contract and private label manufacturing for mainstream bakeries that want specialised goods but don't want to build the facility to manufacture them. Our facility is 100% gluten free.

Worldwide, genetic testing is gaining popularity as a tool for identifying a person's vulnerability to inherited health disorders. The African market is experiencing the same phenomenon and a number of genetic testing laboratories have emerged to meet this growing demand. GENEDiagnostics is a genetic testing, research and training business, dedicated to providing a comprehensive, cost-effective service throughout Africa via a network of private healthcare practitioners. GENEDiagnostics is addressing the current gap in the market by providing an extensive range of tests at competitive prices, but also providing valuable feedback and advice to healthcare professionals, which in turn empowers them to better advise their patients.

Sam Star*
Sam Star* shoes is an exclusive South African designer ladies' leather footwear collection. We offer unique, fashionable and comfortable shoes. Each style is a limited edition from 50-80 pairs per style, per colour. I designed them in South Africa with my heart and soul, inspired by our dynamic street cultures and international runways. I have designed the collection with the mindset of wanting to be stylish and yet comfortable. My vision is to create beautiful shoes to make women feel wonderful and powerful.

SpringAGE was started to create employment opportunities for young people, with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. We believe that job creation and globally competitive organisations are made possible by leveraging the influence of all employment creators in our country - entrepreneurs, government and corporate South Africa - taking the opportunity to collaborate on solving social problems and creating the most innovative solutions. Based on your problem or a question our clients may have, SpringAGE comes up with game-changing solutions to problems that get in the way of your organisation's mission, by collaborating with awesome young people. We call this a SpringBREAK.