August spotlight: Michelle Davidson

Michelle Davidson is one of the founding partners of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions. She started her career in the non-profit financial sector after completing her B.Com in Information systems at UCT.

Michelle has over a decade of experience with non-profits having assisted with many budgeting, planning and strategic sessions. She has a passion not only for the numbers but the people in these organisations. Her happy place is working with people, spreadsheets and strategic processes to improve current performance and profits.

Michelle has a huge vision of developing a business that is able to provide wall to wall services for the non-profit and small business. This vision is slowly coming into focus with the merge of her own business MD Business Solutions with the Entrepreneur Incubator in 2016 to create Entrepreneur and Management Solutions. Watch this space as Michelle plots out and executes her vision over the next few years to develop a strong business structure that will continue to serve businesses and business people well into the future.

Michelle is married to Richard and has a son in Grade 2 at Wynberg Boys. She has a passion for drawing, art and music and spending quality time with family and friends.

By |2018-08-03T14:04:39+02:00August 2nd, 2018|Entrepreneurship|1 Comment

Are you a meaningful Entrepreneur?

Meaningful EntrepreneurshipThere is a recently published study by Stanford University, about the way we construct our experiences, proving that though the principles of meaning and happiness overlap, a meaningful life is ultimately more important than a happy one. So, what is the difference then?

Putting your energy into cultivating an experience that is meaningful entails something more than whatever appeases your own wants and desires in the moment. Happiness is a fleeting feeling, whereas meaning is a stable foundation. Because if you cut down the things that matter to the reasons why they matter, you will realize that the common denominator is that they all give you a sense of belonging, fulfillment and purpose.

Ultimately, meaning is attainable. Meaning is something we can choose. That is not always the case with happiness.

Now, let’s take this to entrepreneurship. What is a meaningful entrepreneurship?

Meaningful entrepreneurs are the entrepreneurs who are enterprise growers and, therefore, job creators.

So, do you think you are a meaningful entrepreneur?

In his blog, Michael Gerber, a legendary entrepreneur, mentioned that a true entrepreneur starts with an inspiration, an innovative or transformative idea for a business, and is driven by the prospect of growth and reinvention.

The world needs more and more true entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs who are inspired to create, to be inspired to innovate, to be inspired to build a completely new world.

Michael Gerber says the cure for unemployment is not more jobs, but more meaningful entrepreneurs – entrepreneurs who will contribute to the transformation of the economy and to the growth of meaningful, rewarding jobs.

Unemployment is a problem that refuses to go away. The hope lies in the hands of a true entrepreneur, to create meaningful jobs.

Furthermore, in their 2014 report, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) divided entrepreneurial motivation into two drivers: motivational drivers and job-growth expectations. The first one is necessity-driven, which means individuals start businesses because there are no better options to obtain resources for living. The second one is opportunity-driven, which means individuals start businesses based on recognized opportunities.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:11+02:00February 5th, 2016|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules For Start-ups.

Mark Cuban1. Do not start a company, unless it’s an obsession and something you love.

2. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.

3. Hire people who you think will enjoy working there.

4. Sales cure all. Know how your company will make money and how you will actually make sales.

5. Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.

6. Lunch is a chance to get out of the office and talk.

7. No offices. There is nothing private in a start-up

8. As far as technology, go with what you know.

9. Keep the organization flat.

10.  Never buy swag.

11. Never hire a PR company.

12. Make the job fun for employees.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:15+02:00December 14th, 2015|Start up school|0 Comments

Entrepreneur Formulas: Which one works?

Entrepreneurship FormulasJust like a jigsaw puzzle, the success of any small or medium-sized business is ultimately the product of a number of pieces falling perfectly into place. Successful businesses have some building blocks on which they hinge – and these include dedicated execution of numerous key factors.

These factors are not the be-all and the end-all of business success, but key among them are a distinctly enunciated clear mission, proper goal setting and measuring progress toward those goals, and then resolving the inevitable conflicts that arise.

Well, there isn’t really any definitive formula for the success of small businesses – this is a combination of various things that can bring you success. Some of them include experience twinned with hard work (Hard Work + Experience).

Below are the first three of our many not-really magical entrepreneur formulas that we’ve come up with:

Offering + Gap = Niche

 Purpose + Clutter = Focus

 Exercise + Attitude = Wellness

As time goes by, we are going to talk about these formulas one by one to see what they really mean and how they can be optimized for the success of a business.


By |2016-11-01T10:20:18+02:00November 11th, 2015|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

The 16th Team Member

We have seen a weekend of huge rugby in the World Cup Quarter Final matches. Each team that has played has put their all into the efforts. The players have been out on their feet at the final whistle. Unfortunately it is a competition and one side has to win and the other has to lose.

What has fascinated me during these matches is the involvement of the spectators. The pure passion they display, giving their all as far as support, encouragement and advice to the ref. When the teams have been down and out, the energy they have received from the stands has taken them to new heights and spurred them on to continue in battle.

IT got me to think about what support we have as Entrepreneurs. Where do we go to to feed off new energy when our reserves are down? Who shouts for us when we are at our lowest? Who are our fans?

How important is it to have a fan base, a group of people who believe in us no matter what the result. We need a group of people willing to dance in the streets when we close a deal and make a profit, we also need the same people to be with us when we lose that important clients and bomb out on a deal.

This Support network is not built by accident or just through family ties. It has to be build through a strategic effort. Look for, identify and recruit people who will be your fan base. People who are willing to listen, without the need to fix. People who care more about you than the money you make. People who want to see you win, even when you have just lost, again.

I encourage you to go out today and find those loyal fans. Look for them at home, family and friends. Then look at your suppliers and customers. Who are the loyal ones who believe you will make it? Who are the ones who will stand behind you through thick and thin.

Then you can recruit a Mentor and a Coach to support you. Someone who has the experience to see beyond the short term and help draft a long term plan to success.

The power of the 16th man, your supporter, has to be one of the critical success factors for any team, both on and off the field.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:20+02:00October 19th, 2015|General|0 Comments

EI launches Lunch ‘n Learn


EI launches Lunch ‘n Learn

Business people and other interested stakeholders showed massive interest as they tucked into the EI’s newly-launched Lunch ‘n Learn programme.

The EI’s Lunch ‘n Learn programme, which kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, would see weekly one hour sessions dedicated for business people or any interested person to spend their lunch hour learning, networking and sharing business ideas. 

Each week there will be a speaker sharing ideas on different topics that are aimed at empowering and instilling knowledge that would help in improving the attendees’ businesses.

During the maiden session of Lunch ‘n Learn, the EI’s Bruce Wade shared on Time Management for Entrepreneurs, which provided valuable lessons not only for entrepreneurs but for professionals in general.

In his presentation, Bruce touched on the “Time Wasters”, which are the little things that become ‘time thieves’. He explained that in order to manage time properly, people needed to be aware of those things.

Some of the “Time Wasters” could be the internet, social media, e-mails and bad habits. He said it was important for one to identify, schedule or eliminate them.

Bruce Wade giving a presentation at the first session of Lunch 'n Learn

He further elaborated as follows on some of the techniques one can use in order to improve on time management as an entrepreneur, which he termed the 4Ds:

Do it now – If you do not do tasks immediately, you may forget to them later;

Delegate to someone else – We always have people around us who can help us. Give the tasks that you cannot do to them;

Diarise it for later – If it is not urgent, put it in the diary for later and focus on the urgent tasks first; and

Dump it in the bin – If it is not important or urgent, do not waste time on it, and dump it.

The first-ever Lunch ‘n Learn session set the bar quite high and if it is to be used as a yardstick, then upcoming events are expected to be even more insightful.




By |2016-11-01T10:20:25+02:00May 7th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Alive Cafe – developing that creative spark

Nestled in the Muizenberg village lies a small yet distinctive venue geared at that inner creative we all seem to share but may not be willing to let out. The Alive Café is an artistic studio, theatre and live music venue. They aim to open the door for each person’s creative spark by offering the experience of participating in a collective hub of creativity.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:42+02:00July 22nd, 2013|Business Resources, EI Videos, Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

How to tell if your idea is a good one

Okay, so you have an idea, now what. How do you know if this idea is going to be any good as a business concept? This is the question that a lot of the entrepreneurs are faced with, but not all good ideas are good business concepts.

There are three categories that ideas can fall into; Revelation ideas, Evolution ideas and Iteration ideas.

Revelation ideas or ideas that are new; this could be innovation and technology, new inventions in science and discovery, or news stories or ideas in the arts. It is my experience that very few entrepreneurial ideas fall into this category, even though the entrepreneur himself is convinced that the concept is a revelation.

Evolution ideas are ideas that have come through and evolution process from other ideas. Most business ideas are concepts that have been seen elsewhere and that have just been involved in two a new reforms or a new look. Thus we see a lot of thin in technology, Web concepts and apps. These ideas are not necessarily bad but should be described as such and not as new.

Iteration ideas are ideas that use existing technology or concepts and combine them to come up with a new business solution. A good example of this is taking a GPS locator, which already existed for a number of years and combine that with a mobile phone to offer geolocation and direction solutions to the end user. This is a mashup of ideas that create a new solution.

Understanding into which category your new business concept falls will give you a good understanding on how to present it to the market and represents it in a business plan. This still does not mean that it is a feasible idea, this needs to be assessed separately and non-emotionality by the business. We have seen many good ideas that seem wonderful on paper and exciting when presented, but still do not match up to the feasibility assessment.

In our next post we will explore the feasibility assessment and give you a chance to take your business idea through this assessment that will give you a score based on market experience and fact and not emotion and hype. 

By |2013-07-04T11:44:28+02:00July 4th, 2013|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship|0 Comments
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