Colin Don Schouw

One on One WITH Colin Don Schouw

KA Magazine: #Hasthtag Radio what is the driving element behind the “Business LIVE” talk show?

Colin Don Schouw: Quite simply put, community upliftment. ‘Business LIVE Talk Show’ dis-
sects; discusses and debates entrepreneurship in Africa. My goal is to educate and inform our audience on the various aspects; elements and dynamics of the business world. On the show, I tackle business; innovation, technology and provide this open platform to empower and inspire my listeners.

As a serial entrepreneur and media personality I have embarked on the journey of bringing together bright minds and industry leaders to give talks that are idea-focused; on a wide range of subjects, to foster learning, inspiration, and wonder – and most importantly, provoke conversations that matter.

Though entrepreneurship is the talk of the town, statistics show that the startup failure rate in our country is still incredibly high. By launching the show on Hashtag Radio; South Africa’s number one Launchpad for entrepreneurs, we’ve created the ideal information outlet for those seeking to better their lives and businesses.

KA Magazine: Tell us more about the ventures you are currently developing?
Colin Don Schouw:
‘My job is simple: come up with new ideas and starts new businesses’. I accomplish this by partnering with incredible entrepreneurs who have the drive and passion to succeed, then retaining partial ownership as we launch and grow these businesses together.

With 2017 in full swing, my company has launched two new startups within the cloth- ing and textile industry and have seen a spike in interest as Business Live talk show grows at a phenomenal pace.

Our most recent venture is an exciting partnership with tech entrepreneur Hilton Schuldig where we are developing a first of it’s kind mobile application in South Africa. HostSpot will change the game in mobile advertising as the app effortlessly integrates some of the biggest mobile app features making B2C marketing a breeze.

KA Magazine: What business trends or opportunities are growing in Africa?
Colin Don Schow:
When you know your market and you are well aware of growing business trends in Africa you will always have a huge advantage in building your venture.

With the rapid growth experienced across industries it is important to look for clusters of innovations that address the basic needs and wants of consumers. By observing and monitoring those clusters of innovations I am able to identify trends – and those trends point to what African customers will want next.

These are two bite-sized trends I believe will see rapid develop- ment in the near future.

KA Magazine: As a business strategist what advice can you give our upcoming creative entrepreneurs?
Colin Don Schouw:
My #1 rule: Be realistic! Truth is simple, the journey of an entrepreneur is a difficult one. We’ve all heard the success stories of those who started out in their garages, others sleep- ing in their cars or working the not so glamorous jobs to save capital. Be prepared to work harder than everyone else in the beginning and you’ll be well on your way onlookers.

Growth in e-commerce – It is no secret that we were not early adopters when e-commerce took off in first world countries, yet we have seen huge changes and growth in this regard just over the last 24 months or so. Online shop- ping it seems is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in South Africa and Nigeria where big changes in consumer behavior have been recorded. I predict we will see much more of it with the mobile revolution Africa is experiencing. Tech entrepreneurs, now is the perfect time to get your e-commerce business off the ground as competition is fairly low.

Women are empowered and set on doing business with the world – More than just a trend, this make for the ideal strat- egy in terms of new business prospects. Both governments and the private sector in Africa are making the effort to include women in the continents economic development.

KA Magazine: As a business strategist what advice can you give our upcoming creative entrepreneurs?
Colin Don Schouw:
My #1 rule: Be realistic! Truth is simple, the journey of an entrepreneur is a difficult one. We’ve all heard the success stories of those who started out in their garages, others sleep- ing in their cars or working the not so glamorous jobs to save capital. Be prepared to work harder than everyone else in the beginning and you’ll be well on your way.

My advise to upcoming creative entrepreneurs is and will always be the same; focus on more than just the creative aspects of your brand. I often find that there is an imbalance between the creative focus and the business fundamentals. Gone are the days of the ‘Jack of all trades’. Find a skilled business consultant and grow together.

KA Magazine: As a PR expert do you see fashion/trends emerging in Africa?
Colin Don Schouw:
Africa’s fashion industry is emerging fast. It seems designers are pushing boundaries now more than ever and the world is no doubt watching. We all observed Michelle Obama wear Nigerian designer Maki Oh during her Africa tour in 2013, and I predict the continent will fast become a serious contender for fashion’s emerging markets as a result of this.

Three major contenders are South Africa’s Johannesburg with its fast pace which has been attracting the country’s neighbors in recent years. Lagos, which is no doubt turn- ing into a real fashion powerhouse and Nairobi, known to be uniquely creative and is onlookers.

The question we should ask though is if and how Africa’s trendsetters can compete with the runways of Milan, New York and Paris? Annual fashion events such as South African Fashion Week and Lagos fashion week among others provide opportunities for local talents to present their work to larger markets, and as a result we see Africa making huge strides in terms of sustainability. People are more willing to support upcoming brands and designers.

KA Magazine: What is your favorite quote?
Colin Don Schouw:
“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

KA Magazine: Can you give us a quote?
‘’At all cost, become the best possible version of yourself’.