Make it happen!

Published on August 25th, 2011
Make it happen!

Many aspire to become an entrepreneur, but are under the impression that they need to invent something to do so. We chat to Allon Raiz to find out what exactly he does as an entrepreneur.

What exactly do you do?
I run a business that helps other businesses grow. I do this by providing selected businesses with infrastructure, training, mentoring, leads and a community.

What is a business incubator?
A business incubator is a term used to describe an organisation that helps small and start-up businesses grow. With a 96% failure rate of small businesses over a 10-year period, there is certainly a market failure. This is where business incubators come in. They provide infrastructure and support to businesses at highly reduced rates, giving them the edge that they need to make it through the vulnerable years.

What made you decide to pursue this career field?
I started by turning around one business and then another. I loved doing it and I seemed to be pretty good at it. I then resigned from my full-time job and started my company, Raizcorp.

What subjects did you need to pursue your career?
Although I have a business degree, I think that being an entrepreneur is more about people skills than anything else. Of course, maths and English are vital subjects. This allows one to understand business calculations and to write well-constructed business proposals.

What would you say is the most challenging part of your job?
Being an entrepreneur is always challenging. You are constantly juggling limited resources (money, people, assets, etc.).

And what would be the most fulfilling?
I get to be part of others’ successes. It is incredibly rewarding to know that every day I have the ability to make a positive impact on the world.

What are some of the things you look at to determine how successful a business will be?
I always look at the characteristic of the entrepreneur. I look for perseverance, flexibility, resourcefulness, curiosity and work ethic.

Is there anything that still baffles you?
The 80s hairstyles…man, they were ugly! How could anyone have thought they looked sexy?

What are your top three inventions of all time?
Controlled electricity, cellphones and flushing toilets.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.