PEMS 24/7 Wins 100K Equity Investment Challenge

By Nvulane Nhlapo (@NvulaneNhlapo)

Refiloe Pheku - PEMS 24/7
Refiloe Pheku - PEMS 24/7

Private Emergency Medical Services (PEMS) emerged the winner of M100,000 Equity Investment Challenge. After a very tight finale last night at the Entrepreneurship Expo & Business Summit, PEMS 24/7 managed to get a ‘yes’ from the judges.

Theirs is a simple mission, that no one should die because of poor pre-hospital care. They aim to reduce the number of deaths in pre-hospital settings in all ways possible!

The first good thing that happened was winning a small victory that saw them take part in the M100,000 Equity Investment Challenge finale.

The 100K Equity Investment Challenge is one of THUD’s endeavours to invest in the growth and the development of local businesses and to contribute to building a good ecosystem to foster entrepreneurship in the country.

THUD has used the crowdfunding model to award monthly THUD winners with prizes. However, this model was not sustainable as entrepreneurs were not always able to raise an amount of money significant enough to grow their businesses, furthermore, there wasn’t anything tangible that the funders were getting for their investment. Therefore, in a bid to improve the process, THUD came up with the equity investment challenge which is funded by THUD.

Even if PEMS 24/7 hadn’t won, the competition forced them to focus on the real impact in the community which made for a great pitch. Indeed, their business was compelling. The perfect pitch rarely comes from the slides. The 3 minutes to pitch was more than enough, and the honesty as highlighted by the judges, led to their victory.

Right before the announcement of the winner, we managed to corner Selebogo Molefe as one of judges and also the spokesperson and figurehead of THUD for his comments.

He was quick to comment that the entrepreneurs have great passion and they sound committed to their businesses. ‘One thing lacking is the understanding of financials and they should improve and focus on numbers. Prove your understanding on the numbers,’ he highlighted.

On his feeling towards the businesses pitching, he mentioned that it’s always a mixed bag. There’s some great business with potential but there’s also a lot of work to be done and also personal development.

His number one advice for entrepreneurs is to go to school and learn numbers. ‘Without an understanding of financials it becomes hard to grow your business and retain the money,’ he advised.

Lastly I asked him what’s the one thing he sees as he works with entrepreneurs across Africa. ‘You can never fake passion. Most importantly, solve real problems. This is Africa, our problems are still basic, so if you think about Agriculture, Agro-processing, and ideas centred around access, you will have find yourself making money because you’re solving real problems on the ground,’ he emphasised.

Congratulations to Private Emergency Medical Services (PEMS) 24/7.