1. How did Endeavor help Spartan grow?
There were a few ways, but here is one tangible example. Spartan got involved with Endeavor some 10 years ago and approximately 5 years later, when Spartan changed target markets to financing only SMEs, we secured wholesale financing from a significant funder whom we first met at that initial Endeavor selection event. The stature of this wholesale funder also had a catalytic effect in securing additional institutional funders.
2. What was the most rewarding part of your journey with Endeavor?
The people, the network and the valuable conversations have all provided enduring benefit.
3. What was best advice you received from an Endeavor mentor?
From Paul Harris – do not underestimate the importance of people & process in scaling a business.
From judging panellists, Craig Lyons and Claire Busetti - focus on growing the right executive team to execute one’s vision.
4. What has your entrepreneurial path been like since your company graduated from Endeavor South Africa?
A few years ago we effected a strategic change at Spartan by moving away from corporate and public sector target markets – to being 100% focussed on the SME and entrepreneur target market. We expanded our offering from merely technology financing – to financing that backs entrepreneurs with growth finance, asset finance and bridging finance. We created a scalable distribution with nearly 90 partners, to reach SMEs and entrepreneurs nationally.
5. Do you have any encouraging words to share with companies wanting to join Endeavor South Africa?
My advice is to trust their people, trust their process and trust their ecosystem. Their people are passionate and committed to your success. Their selection process garners valuable insights for you - even if you are not ultimately selected.
6. Our content theme this year is about investments and funding options for entrepreneurs. Is there any advice that you can give entrepreneurs about the different funding possibilities and how to be funding ready?
- There is a TV show on Business Day TV, channel 412, called “SME Funding” [visit http://www.businessdaytv.co.za/shows/sme-funding/] that Spartan is involved in and that provides insights & tips on various aspects of funding for SMEs & entrepreneurs.
- Given that Spartan is an SME financier, it is understandable that I answer this question by highlighting our offering for Growth Finance, specialized Asset Finance and Bridging Finance …