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Seed Engine

Aimed at transforming ideas into businesses worthy of investment.
Seed Engine
Leadership team

Donna Rachelson (Founder & CEO)

Faith Khanyile (Chairperson WDB Growth Fund)

Malcolm Segal (Director and Member of the Investment Committee )

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
Johannesburg, South Africa
Established
2013
Social Media
Summary

Seed Engine is a South African company that promotes economic inclusion and sustainable growth by supporting and empowering entrepreneurs and businesses. The company's mission is to inspire and equip women and youth to dream on a global scale, grow and scale new businesses that create jobs, generate returns, and positively contribute to the economy and society.

Seed Engine uses a unique investment approach, leveraging its proven methodology, a tax-efficient investment fund, Level 2 B-BBEE credentials, and highly respected partners to effect change. The company's investment criteria include a focus on businesses that have the potential to create positive social impact, promote sustainability, and contribute to economic growth.

Seed Engine's diverse portfolio includes companies in various industries and sectors, such as Made With Rural, Dose Drinks, My-iMali, The Refillery, and Afrikaburn. These businesses reflect Seed Engine's commitment to promoting economic inclusion, sustainability, and innovation.


History

Seed Engine, also known as Seed Academy, is a mission-driven organization that focuses on creating economic inclusion in South Africa through education, talent development, and business scaling services. The organization was founded in 2013 by Donna Rachelson, a businesswoman and author, who recognized the need to provide a more practical and effective approach to supporting entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Seed Engine's approach is grounded in a unique methodology that emphasizes the importance of positive economic growth and leveraging the skills and knowledge of respected partners. The organization has also developed a tax-efficient investment fund that enables them to invest in the growth and development of businesses that have the potential to make a positive social impact.

Seed Engine's Level 2 B-BBEE credentials are another key component of their approach, enabling them to provide practical and effective solutions to businesses that want to improve their B-BBEE scorecard. The organization's mission is to inspire and equip women and youth to dream on a global scale and to grow and scale new businesses that create jobs, generate returns, and contribute positively to the economy and society.

Over the years, Seed Engine has achieved several notable milestones. In 2016, the organization was recognized as one of the Top 20 Global Accelerators by the Global Accelerator Network. Seed Engine has also conducted several surveys on the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa, including the Real State of Entrepreneurship Survey, which is now in its fifth year and is South Africa's largest and most referenced entrepreneur survey.

Seed Engine has also partnered with several respected organizations to help deliver on their mission. In 2018, the organization partnered with Microsoft South Africa to launch a program aimed at upskilling 1000 black-owned small businesses in the country. Seed Engine has also partnered with the likes of Standard Bank, Growthpoint Properties, and Transnet to provide practical and effective solutions to businesses.

In summary, Seed Engine is a mission-driven organization that has been at the forefront of promoting economic inclusion in South Africa since its inception in 2013. With a unique methodology, tax-efficient investment fund, and Level 2 B-BBEE credentials, Seed Engine has helped numerous businesses grow and scale, create jobs, and positively contribute to the economy and society.


Investment criteria

Seed Engine focuses on supporting the growth and development of businesses in South Africa. The fund has a unique approach to investing, which emphasizes the importance of positive economic growth and making a positive social impact. Seed Engine's investment criteria reflect these values and are designed to identify businesses that have the potential to generate significant returns while also contributing positively to the economy and society.

Seed Engine's investment criteria are as follows:

  • Business Model: Seed Engine looks for businesses with a scalable business model that can generate significant revenue and profits over time. They prefer businesses with a proven track record of success, but will also consider startups with a strong value proposition and the potential to disrupt the market.
  • Management Team: Seed Engine believes that the management team is a critical factor in the success of a business. They look for a strong and experienced management team that has a track record of success in their respective fields. They prefer teams with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, and who have a clear vision for the future of the business.
  • Market Opportunity: Seed Engine invests in businesses that operate in high-growth industries with significant market potential. They look for businesses that are well-positioned to take advantage of emerging market trends and can generate significant revenue growth over time.
  • Social Impact: Seed Engine is committed to making a positive social impact through its investments. They look for businesses that have a clear social mission and can demonstrate how their products or services are making a positive contribution to society. Seed Engine also prefers businesses that prioritize environmental sustainability and have a clear commitment to corporate social responsibility.
  • Financial Viability: Seed Engine is an investment fund, and as such, they seek businesses with a strong financial track record and a clear path to profitability. They look for businesses with a sustainable revenue model and a plan to manage their cash flow effectively. They also prefer businesses with a clear exit strategy, such as an IPO or acquisition, that can generate significant returns for investors.

In summary, Seed Engine's investment criteria reflect its commitment to promoting economic growth and making a positive social impact. By investing in businesses with a strong business model, experienced management team, significant market potential, clear social mission, and strong financial viability, Seed Engine aims to generate significant returns while also contributing positively to the economy and society.


Values
  • Inclusion: Seed Engine believes that economic growth and development should be inclusive and accessible to everyone. The company is committed to promoting economic inclusion by supporting women and youth entrepreneurs who may otherwise lack access to the resources and support they need to grow and scale their businesses.
  • Impact: Seed Engine believes that businesses have a responsibility to make a positive social impact. The company invests in businesses that prioritize environmental sustainability and have a clear commitment to corporate social responsibility. Seed Engine aims to generate positive returns while also contributing to the betterment of society.
  • Innovation: Seed Engine recognizes the importance of innovation in driving economic growth and development. The company invests in businesses that have the potential to disrupt the market and create new opportunities for growth and development.
  • Collaboration: Seed Engine believes that collaboration is essential for promoting economic growth and development. The company works closely with its partners and stakeholders to create a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs and businesses. Seed Engine also collaborates with its portfolio companies to help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
  • Excellence: Seed Engine is committed to excellence in all its operations. The company strives to achieve the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and performance in its investment activities. Seed Engine aims to provide its portfolio companies with the support and resources they need to achieve excellence and reach their full potential.

Mission

Seed Engine's mission is to promote economic inclusion in South Africa by inspiring and equipping women and youth to dream on a global scale, and by growing and scaling businesses that create jobs, generate returns, and make a positive contribution to the economy and society. The company believes that South Africa needs more than just another incubator, and instead, requires positive economic growth that can only be achieved through education, talent development, and the growth and scaling of new businesses.

Seed Engine uses a proven methodology, a unique tax-efficient investment fund, and leverages its Level 2 B-BBEE credentials and highly respected partners to effect change. The company aims to give youth hope for the future, entrepreneurs a pathway to their dreams, businesses an ESD (Enterprise and Supplier Development) solution they can be proud of, and South Africa a model for economic inclusion.


Portfolio

Seed Engine has a diverse portfolio of investments in various industries and sectors, with a focus on supporting businesses that have the potential to create a positive impact on the South African economy and society. Seed Engine's portfolio includes the following companies:

  • Made With Rural: This company focuses on the production and sale of high-quality, handcrafted products made by rural artisans in South Africa. The company provides training and support to these artisans, helping them to develop their skills and generate income.
  • Dose Drinks: Dose Drinks is a beverage company that produces a range of healthy and natural drinks, including cold-pressed juices and smoothies. The company uses locally sourced ingredients and supports local farmers, promoting sustainable agriculture practices.
  • My-iMali: My-iMali is a financial services company that provides an innovative digital platform for managing personal finances. The platform allows users to save, budget, and invest their money, with a focus on financial education and inclusion.
  • The Refillery: The Refillery is a retail store that provides a range of eco-friendly and sustainable household products, including cleaning supplies and personal care items. The company encourages customers to reduce their environmental impact by offering refills and reusable packaging options.
  • Afrikaburn: Afrikaburn is an annual arts festival that takes place in the Tankwa Karoo region of South Africa. The festival promotes community building, creativity, and self-expression, and has become an important cultural event in South Africa.

References
Seed Engine
Leadership team

Donna Rachelson (Founder & CEO)

Faith Khanyile (Chairperson WDB Growth Fund)

Malcolm Segal (Director and Member of the Investment Committee )

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
Johannesburg, South Africa
Established
2013
Social Media