South Africa’s universe of entrepreneur-influencers is growing all the time. That’s probably not surprising considering that around 22 million South Africans (or 37% of the population) are active social media users, according to stats from Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Data-driven marketing platform Humanz estimates that there around 50,000 South African influencers on Instagram and nearly 30,000 on Twitter. This includes so-called nano-influencers who have an engaged audience of at least 2,000 genuine followers. Some of them have turned being an influencer into a side hustle or even a day job.
What makes an influencer different from a celebrity is that they win respect for the content they produce rather than who they are. When it comes to entrepreneurship, influencers in this sector have put in the blood, sweat and tears needed to build their own business, and many of their followers look to them for business counsel and insight.
Many brands are now working with influencers as a way to reach their audience and engage with them. Some influencers retain their independence rather than working with brands. Either way, South African influencers generate a wealth of entertaining, educational and inspirational content.
Here are a few of our favourite influencers who are also entrepreneurs for you to consider following:
Marketing entrepreneur, Nomndeni Mdakhi, has made it her purpose to inspire and uplift other African women. She is the founder of Agenda Women – a platform that brings women together to learn and grow. She is also an entrepreneur, speaker of note and the managing director of Edits Communications, a Johannesburg-based PR, branding and talent marketing agency.
Podcaster, small business advocate, and youth entrepreneur champion, Mashudu Mudau is all about connecting people and building platforms to help start-ups grow. His Mashstartup Podcast profiles South Africa’s most talented creators, impactful entrepreneurs and high-performing professionals.
Octavius Phukubye is the founder of Brillionaire, a consulting and project management company in sustainable entrepreneurship and the small business development sector. He is an experienced business project manager in entrepreneurship development and an early stage technology venture investment advisor with a proven track record that spans over 10 years.
As the founder of Yoco, Katlego Maphai has built a technology company that creates tools and services to help small businesses get paid, run their business better, and grow. Yoco launched out of beta in October 2015 and the venture has since acquired over 7,500 merchants, processing a billion rand in annualised transactions. Maphai’s previous work involved venture development at Rocket Internet and setting up Jumia.com in Nigeria.
Caron Kganyago is the founder of The Throne, a 100% black, woman-owned content, influencer relations, insights and social media agency. It also serves as a trending online publication. The Throne celebrates the most impactful and innovative tastemakers, content creators, musicians, bloggers, designers, and influencers within contemporary culture.