Multichoice starts fund to stimulate new content ideas

Multichoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela has launched the pay TV's fund for entrepreneurs.
Multichoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela has launched the pay TV's fund for entrepreneurs.
Image: Gallo Images / Felix Dlangamandla

Pay TV MultiChoice group has launched a multi-million rand fund to help develop innovative small, medium and micro enterprises that produce media content.

Dubbed the Innovation Fund, it will target innovators in the video entertainment industry and technology sectors, giving them an opportunity to bring their ideas to life.

The commercial satellite services broadcaster explained in a media statement that the Innovation Fund will focus exclusively in investing in South African entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses with a turnover of up to R50m.

"There will be a specific focus on innovation in broadcast technology, innovative content, digital and internet solutions, and business processing," said the company.

MultiChoice added that the Innovation Fund was an extension of MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust, established in 2012 to contribute towards enterprise and supplier development in the Information and Communications Technology sector.

Thus far the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust has invested in over 25 businesses totaling well over R180m and creating 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, said the company.

MultiChoice group chief executive Calvo Mawela said: "The video entertainment industry – and indeed the world as we know it – is on a fascinating digital trajectory and we need to ensure that we are ahead of the pack if the continent’s entertainment industry is going to continue to grow sustainably and be globally competitive.

“We anticipate that our Innovation Fund will spur original thinking and exciting new ideas that will lead to breakthrough moments for these growing entrepreneurs,” he said.

He said the Innovation Fund will aimed at addressing the gender gap and youth unemployment, as well as ensuring increased and sustained diversity and inclusion in the tech, media and film industries.

"Looking ahead, the Innovation Fund’s strategy is to expand on the already 11 women-owned and four-youth owned businesses it has supported," he said.

One of the fund's beneficiaries is Media Sync, a taxi commuter advertising firmwhich is currently the largest 100% black-owned digital-out-of-home advertising company in Africa.

Owner Simphiwe Mthembu said the innovation fund helped fast-track the company’s goals and scale the business, which has resulted in over 50 direct and indirect jobs.

The Innovation Fund assisted Mzeelia Media, a digital content solutions company, that specialises in audio content production, to get off the ground much faster than its owners had anticipated. The business founders also benefited from the invaluable business mentorship, guidance and support they received.

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