New help for aspiring entrepreneurs in Bay

With the aim of curbing the province’s high unemployment rate, Startup Grind has established a branch in Port Elizabeth to help aspiring entrepreneurs build their businesses through lessons shared by those who are successfully running their own enterprises.
Startup Grind has been running in SA since 2013, with monthly events featuring successful local innovators who share the lessons they learnt on the road to building great companies.
According to Startup Grind Port Elizabeth director Jermaine Charles, 38, the aim is to help aspiring entrepreneurs to mingle and network with the “gurus of the industry” and learn about the pros and cons of starting a business.
“The industry is hostile, with lots of challenges.
“People always like to hear the end product so we are basically here to provide the brutal truth of what you are getting yourself into when you start a business,” Charles said.
He said Startup Grind was not a money-making business but rather a platform to offer support and help aspiring entrepreneurs build networks.
“In Nelson Mandela Bay, there are lots of informal businesses. What we are aiming to do is to invite all those in informal business to attend our sessions and learn how they can transform their businesses into formal businesses,” he said.
Startup Grind has monthly meet-ups with an hour-long networking session, helping like-minded individuals to connect, followed by a 45-minute “fireside chat” where a successful entrepreneur is interviewed to tell their story.
A 15-minute Q&A session, during which the audience can informally interview the main guest, follows.
Co-director Nyameko de Bruin, 25, said the Port Elizabeth office would mainly bring in successful entrepreneurs from Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape for its sessions.
“There are so many social media network platforms but in times of need you can’t click on the contact and ask for help,” he said.
“Here we want to build a community that can assist each other and grow businesses.”

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