Breathing fire into small firms

Daddy’s Dragon business academy is located at the iconic Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town.

After successfully starting and running more than 20 businesses, a group of entrepreneurs is now helping other business owners to do the same through business academy Daddy’s Dragons.

Small Business Connect spoke to co-founder, George Gabriel to learn more.

What is the name of your incubator and the meaning behind it?

Daddy.O forms part of the global Daddy’s World Group and is a modern business club, offering unique and flexible shared office space that provides a sense of community and business synergy. Daddy’s Dragons is the group’s business academy that leads courses and a mentorship programmes that help entrepreneurs hone their business ideas, fine-tune their marketing strategy and make lasting business connections. For projects with the right combination of vision, skills and commitment there is also an opportunity to incubate a business in partnership with Daddy O and Daddy’s World.

How would you describe your focus?

We are open to all types of industries, and currently have people from fields such as alternative health, social media consulting, management and fundraising consulting to non-profits, wine distributors, freelance writers, PR consulting, IT strategy and the list goes on and on. In addition, we have a healthy mixture of seasoned professionals and startups, as well as independent professionals.

Where are you based and from which areas do you recruit new incubatees?

Our office is located in Woodstock. Our recruits come from all over the Cape Town region.

Which businesses are best suited to join?

Our business academy is open to all types of businesses, but best for those who can take advantage of the Daddy’s World’s experience and networks.

How does one apply?

Take a look at our websites and see if our offering is of value. If so, then make contact with Daddy.O directly or just stop by for a visit. For Daddy’s Dragons, apply to be part of their next course. Go to www.daddyo.co.za for more information.

How long do businesses stay in your programmes?

There is no time limit.

What are the two key elements of your support that sets you apart from other incubators?

We believe in a co-mentoring model that empowers the entrepreneurs to help each other and also hold each other accountable. We provide the entrepreneurs with access to a sizeable and unique network of skills, creativity and professional contacts.

How long have you been going for?

1 year

How many businesses have used your support?

More than 200 businesses.

What are your fees?

Office space at Daddy.O:

  • Hourly Rate: R 25 per hour
  • Daily Rate: R 100 per day
  • Monthly Rate: R 995 per month
  • The boardroom is also available for [email protected] R150 per hour
  •  Programmes through Daddy’s Dragons:
  •  Course:R2280
  •  Boardroom club: R1250/month (free course included)

What is the best think you have heard people say about your service:

The best thing that people say about our services is that we offer great value for money, real insight and support, and a real sense of community.

And the worst?

That we don’t have an office in Johannesburg.

Why are you involved in supporting new businesses?

Says Daddy’s World co-founder, Jody Aufrichtig; “Business is our passion, as a group, we have taken lots of risks, tried some crazy new things and learnt some important lessons; the most important one being that entrepreneurs need a network of support. With Daddy.O and Daddy’s Dragons, we are not only providing a physical space to work in, we are also creating a place to bounce ideas, develop good business relationships and tap into the Daddy knowledge-base. We want to build success – to fuel new businesses, create jobs and change our environment. We are very excited about sharing our advice and sharpening the talents of some brave new business leaders.”

What is your biggest wish for improving support to entrepreneurs in South Africa?

The next step is to create more integrated environments that not only appeal to startups, but also allow for more consistent interaction between potential investors and higher level consulting and infrastructure services. Bandwidth Barn has done some of this, but there is much more that can be done. And there is also incredible potential when it comes to racial and social integration. In many ways these spaces have the potential to drive economic development, by creating environments that support innovation, collaboration and give meaningful direct support to entrepreneurs both socially and professionally.

  •  For a list of incubators, go to SmallBusinessConnect.co.za/lists

, Bandwidth Barn, Daddy's World Group, Daddy.O, Daddy’s Dragons, George Gabriel

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