#0014 Jules Newton of Avocado Vision and Green Business Value Chain

By
Civitas Team

9 business ideas on funding modules, growth and success.

Jules Newton is a social entrepreneur behind Avocado Vision and now the Green Business Value Chain. She started her business journey in the adult learning industry and transitioned into helping rural micro-businesses in the green sector. A Civitas team member sat down with Jules to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and how she is empowering new entrepreneurs to solve South Africa's problems.


Summary of the best ideas from the discussion

  • The high failure rate for small businesses is due to low levels of business and formal education, and lack of access to formal value chains.
  • What we need to succeed is a strong sort of purpose-driven development culture.
  • You have to keep on interrogating, are we making an impact? Is the impact correct?
  • Be incredibly honest about what is and isn’t working and use that to drive innovation.
  • Star entrepreneurs don’t give up and wait for someone else to solve problems.

On playing to your strengths

  1. I stepped down as MD about 18 months ago because I realised that I was bored with running a company after 22 years. I much prefer to be in the programmatic, innovative side of the business.


On small business in rural South Africa

  1. I think the problem of high failure rate of small businesses due to low levels of business and formal education, and chronic lack of access to formal value chains.
  2. “The risks are high for these guys. Failure creates an almost irrecoverable impact and we have to be very careful with the guys around that. Bad input or advice can be dangerous” 


On what you need to succeed

  1. “What we need to succeed is a strong purpose-driven development culture.”
  2. “You have to keep on interrogating, are we making an impact? Is the impact correct?”
  3. “I think the other part of the culture is that self-interrogation and reflection, trying to be as honest with ourselves as possible around where we are succeeding and where we are failing to support the micro enterprises.”
  4. Driving innovation from the perspective that forces you to be incredibly honest with yourself around what is and isn't working.


On building scalable business processes

  1. “We build management templates and processes. So the team can run the processes that run the business without extensive leader intervention”


On entrepreneurs who succeed

  1. “Our stars are able to handle another level of complexity. They may have failed, but they are not just giving up and waiting for someone to pop in and solve their problems.”


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