Raizcorp: Planting the Seeds for Entrepreneurial Growth and Prosperity
Professor Boris Urban and Alison Gaylard
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Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand
Raizcorp chief executive Allon Raiz was faced each day with many applications to join his business incubation Prosperator programme. He knew what to look for in an entrepreneur, but it was not always “cut and dried”. In September 2012, he and his panel were considering an applicant who had passed all the tests with flying colours, and they were unanimous in their belief that he had what it took to be successful. His business, however, left them in doubt. It was a struggling IT support company, which they felt had no differentiating factors in an already overtraded industry. Raizcorp believed in “backing the jockey but not the horse”, which often meant having to change the entrepreneur’s mindset and helping them explore new ideas. Would they be successful in this case? And was it worth the investment of time and resources? It worried Raiz, because he knew if the individual was to embark on a new venture, it would take some time before Raizcorp would see any return on its investment.