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Ripple Effect of an Ecosystem

Deloitte partners with Grindstone with the launch of Grindstone Accelerator cohorts 10 & 11

Deloitte Africa has partnered with Grindstone to launch the 2023 Grindstone Accelerator programme for cohorts 10 & 11. The Grindstone Accelerator is a 12-month structured entrepreneurship development programme that assists high-growth innovation-driven companies to get the critical building blocks in place to become fundable, sustainable and scale up globally.

The programme also prepares each cohort with the necessary tools to accelerate funding readiness through a gap analysis and deep interventions designed to build a foundation for growth, transfer skills and market access opportunities. The outcomes of these interventions are measured by an array of metrics including revenue growth and jobs created for the duration of the programme. Previous cohorts have averaged revenue growth of 59% and created almost 300 jobs to date.

As part of this programme, Deloitte supports two workshops a month and created the opportunity for subject matter experts within the business to become coaches to these entrepreneurs and give deep industry knowledge to support the growth of the cohort.

“As a professional services firm, we are well positioned to contribute to the advancement of the start-up community. Partnering with Grindstone provides a pragmatic channel through which the firm can Make an Impact that Matters to the start-up community. I am particularly excited for us as a firm to explore how we can partner with these start-ups to augment our offerings and go-to-market strategies” says, Deloitte Associate Director for Digital & Innovation, Nthabiseng Mothoagae.

“Through this programme, we aim to empower SME’s and invest skills and insights from our inhouse human capital to assist the start-ups. Part of the coaching deliverables will be to assess the viability of each of the start-ups and determining if it would be feasible to integrate the SMEs into Deloitte’s supply chain”, says Deloitte’s Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, Catherine Stretton. The selected coaches will also be expected to commit to a minimum of 4 sessions per start-up, where each session will run for an hour. “There is a ripple effect for purposeful ecosystems. It is really all about making an impact”, Catherine further added.

“Start-ups have a critical role to play in the socio-economic development of countries both locally and globally, “ Nthabiseng added. Several scale-up entrepreneurs have become part of the program and as a result, have gained invaluable insights and managed to utilise the skills and networks gained to grow their businesses.

Thulisile Volwana is the cofounder of CreditAis, a company that uses alternative data to create a credit score for lending clients and currently works with a leading business microlender to offer business loans. She is one of the Grindstone Accelerator Coaching Programme beneficiaries.“Participating in the programme has helped us to define and achieve the key objectives of our business. It has also encouraged us to create structure in the business while also refining our core culture. This has served as a guide for us to employ suitable candidates who are aligned with our set culture” says Volwana .

Grindstone is jointly owned by industry-leading VC company, Knife Capital and Thinkroom Consulting, which develops SMEs for market access readiness across Africa. Partners Andrea Böhmert, Catherine Young, and Keet van Zyl lead a team of exceptional business-building experts who have a passion to add authentic, practical value to the participants’ entrepreneurial endeavours.

The programme is facilitated by Will Green, who has over twenty years of business experience, and an array of business networks. Green also brings his first-hand entrepreneurial knowledge to the programme and entrepreneurs, as well as his experience with start-ups and corporates across various industries.

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