Blue Label aims to invest in start-ups in partnership with Blue Pencil

JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms and Blue Pencil announced on Tuesday that they have jointly launched a business accelerator programme that will provide high potential South African businesses with access to the funding, market opportunities, channels and skills they need to take their commercial success to the next level. By Staff Writer

The new business acceleration programme will focus on scale-ups that are maturing from their incubation phase and that are ready to develop into more mature businesses. The initiative will provide them with access to skills and infrastructure cutting across finance, IT, HR, marketing, product development and other business functions.

“South Africa as a nation is crying out for initiatives that can create jobs and stimulate economic growth,” says Tallies Taljaard, owner of Blue Pencil. “Many small businesses struggle to take off and thrive after the incubation phase – by increasing their chances of success and through the right interventions we can help them to have a positive impact in the SMME economy.”

In addition, where the businesses need capital to grow, Blue Label may provide funding in exchange for an equity stake or help them to secure external funders. Blue Label and Blue Pencil are currently evaluating companies suitable for the programme, with the aim of bringing 10 on board during Q1 2017.

“While there is a strong focus on incubation, there are not enough structures in place to accelerate the growth of high potential organisations. We will seek out businesses that are built on innovation and disruption and support them with Blue Label Telecoms’ frameworks, experience, and infrastructure,” says Mark Levy, CEO of Blue Label Telecoms.

“We want to enable them to upscale rapidly and, ultimately, penetrate new markets across Africa, and the rest of the world. We will work with them in terms of commercialisation and market opportunities, assist them to refine their value proposition and see where we can leverage synergies with Blue Label.”

It is anticipated that the first phase of the accelerator programme will last for approximately three years.



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