University of the Western Cape (UWC) alumnus and Cape Town-born Jamie Wyngaard’s life mission is to see small businesses succeed.
His own journey to success has been challenging, but he never held back when it came to a challenge in helping other businesses and addressing the needs of students with financial difficulties. One of his most memorable projects is Feenix.org, the crowdfunding platform he initiated for students which raised over R R80.1 million.
As the managing director, Jamie now runs his own concept development agency, WeAreTheAgency.co.za.
“I started The Agency (that's actually the name) when I noticed the gap in the market for people needing help unpacking and validating their business ideas. His main focus is to assist new businesses in strategising new business ventures. He provides free resources on his blog and most recently on the TV show Being The Business to further assist in new media marketing and business operations.
Jamie grew up in the Cape Flats and when his dad - the only breadwinner - passed away when he was still in high school, it changed the family's financial situation immediately.
“My mom was a housewife, and losing our comforts taught me to start being creative and forced me to find ways to secure the lifestyle we were used to,” he said.
He still fondly recalls his days at UWC. “I'm a big nerd, so I went and studied Biotechnology at UWC. I loved it and I still do, and I hope to return to my studies one day.
“It was while studying that I started my own business and I had to juggle studies and making money (which was really important because I was the only one working in the house).” But this didn’t stop him from raking in numerous awards for entrepreneurship and social responsibility. He was also recognised as University of the Western Cape Student Achiever of the Year 2011 and being the current National Vice-President of the GoldenKey International Honorary Society, means a lot to him.
“The biggest lie I told myself was that I could leave my studies, make the cash and go back to finish my degree, but I never completed my degree entirely. I’ve learned you don't necessarily study science to become a scientist. You study science to learn how to think like a scientist and apply that in everyday situations to creatively solve problems.
“Solving problems is what creativity is to me. My creative journey has been about facing and solving problems, then turning those solutions into a business,” said Wyngaard.
And he continues living his passion to solve problems with his new TV show (Being The Business) on CTV, helping entrepreneurs improve their business. “With this show, we share the heartfelt experience of seasoned business owners. We explore how these entrepreneurs created and cultivated their business, what issues they faced, and how they tackled the ones they were able to solve.
“CTV is currently our broadcast partner with over 3 million viewers across South Africa. The show is available on terrestrial view and on DSTV channel 263, airing every Sunday at 12:30 pm with a repeat every subsequent Thursday at 11:30 am.
“A huge highlight for me is that the full season will also be available on all Intercape busses from January 2022.”
Wyngaard continues his drive to alleviate poverty by being a mentor for TeenEntrepreneur.co.za where he encourages and assists with the development of an entrepreneurial mindset among South African youth.