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In the ORT boardroom with Allon Raiz




Raiz – whose company supports more than 500 businesses and is, according to the Economist, the only genuine incubator in Africa – addressed ORT Jet mentors at a recent event. The mentors assist many small ORT Jet businesses overcome their challenges in order to grow. His talk was facilitated by David Zidel, business lecturer, coach, and author.

Raiz, who was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a young global leader in 2008, shared his journey from being a youngster in his family’s business in Durban to running the most successful business incubator in Africa.

To be a successful entrepreneur, he said, you should have the following traits:

  1. Crisis versus opportunity. Do you see an opportunity when faced with a crisis? Do big problems paralyze or motivate you?
  2. Tolerance for pain. Can you handle the pain of rejection? Can you handle being told “no” again and again, but still push forward?
  3. Tolerance for risk. Can you handle uncertainty, and the chance that you will lose not only money but much more?
  4. Ability to muster resources. Do you believe in your ability to find what you need, when you need it? Do you believe that you can source what is required, even when you do not currently possess those resources?
  5. Learn and iterate. Do you learn from failure? Do you have the ability to change continuously the way you do things, so that each iteration is more successful than the previous one?

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