As part of the new fund, AYO will allocate ZAR200 million each year to help qualifying companies, organisations and entrepreneurs scale their businesses.
Half of the fund is to be allocated to South African companies of which 50 per cent will be geared to specifically supporting black-owned startups. The other half will be apportioned to companies founded and operated on the wider African continent.
“There are thousands of brilliant business ideas out there, but the sad reality is that few make it to the big time. The necessary funds to take these ideas from bud to blossom and then fruit, can often be in short supply,” said AYO chairman Advocate Wallace Mgoqi.
“Which is why AYO has committed to launching an annual fund aimed at supporting as many bright ideas and innovations as possible. With this, AYO can help turn ideas into action.”
AYO will invest in organisations that are creating new technologies or using existing ones in novel ways to solve pressing business and everyday needs. There will be strict criteria and appropriate due diligence measures, while the fund is aimed at providing second round funding opportunities for companies that have a proof of concept and are ready to scale.
Aside from providing funding, AYO will also use its stable of companies to offer beneficiaries a variety of opportunities for business acceleration, through access to professionals, services and marketplaces within the group. Investee companies will also be in a position to offer their own skills and support to companies within the greater AYO group.
Applications are now open via the AYO website.