Anthony’s dream was to become a medical doctor. However after failing to get the points necessary to get to university, he turned to entrepreneurship. His first business was a mobile cinema targeting boarding schools where he would host popular film nights on weekends. However this slowly went out of business as schools invested in their own entertainment systems. Following the closure of that business, he sought inspiration by reading books by his idol, Richard Branson. Noticing a gap in the market for a travel magazine catering to local travellers rather than tourists, he went on to set up the Bold Traveller.
A finance and accounting professional, Pedro joined Grow because he wanted to do more than just give money to a cause. He wanted to make a difference by helping entrepreneurs who didn’t have access to the knowledge and information that is sometimes taken for granted in the developed world.
Bold Traveller is a free magazine and relies on advertising revenue which caused a number of challenges for Anthony. Advertisers sometimes didn’t pay him after he had already printed the magazine while it was difficult to get them to pay in advance and convince them of the benefits of advertising in his magazine. Pedro and Anthony therefore looked at ways to diversify the revenue streams and also improve the quality of content in the magazine to make it a more attractive proposition for both readers and advertisers.
Together they worked on ideas for new content such as local bus timetables and articles on specific local attractions in order to make the magazine more appealing. Following Pedro’s advice, Anthony decided to make quarterly issues rather than monthly to allow him to focus more on the quality and reduce printing costs. They also created a system to incentivise advertisers to pay a percentage of their fee upfront and reduce the risk on Anthony’s part. Three jobs have been created and profits increased by 65%.
“I really valued my time with Pedro. He is a great listener and he always speaks his mind. Being an entrepreneur can be quite lonely. It was great to have someone to share the challenges with. There are times when I would feel down and Pedro would build me up. By the next week, I would be good to go.”
“This experience has changed my perception of Africa. People should not believe just what they see in the news. I learnt that there are plenty of talented people there who are willing to learn and to work to build their lives but lack access to resources or skills to do so.”