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Startup Grind Bloemfontein will have been operating for one year in November 2017, and we are going all out to celebrate with our community! It's going to be a party yo!
We are thrilled to announce that we will have most of our speakers returning to celebrate with us, as we recap on all this Startup Grind in the past year. We're even including a special discount on Marnus Broodryk's new book.
Marnus Broodryk was a self-made millionaire by the time he was 24. He’d arrived in Johannesburg two years earlier in a rented bakkie with all of his possessions – a bed and R37 000 in the bank. While doing his articles at an accounting firm in Harrismith, he’d travelled often to Sandton and loved it. But he also knew there was no way he could afford rent in Joburg’s economic hub.Read More
Marnus Broodryk was a self-made millionaire by the time he was 24. He’d arrived in Johannesburg two years earlier in a rented bakkie with all of his possessions – a bed and R37 000 in the bank. While doing his articles at an accounting firm in Harrismith, he’d travelled often to Sandton and loved it. But he also knew there was no way he could afford rent in Joburg’s economic hub.
His only other knowledge of Joburg and its surrounds came from watching Carte Blanche every week. The team said they were broadcasting live from Randburg, so Marnus found a flat near Randburg. And that’s where he set up The Beancounter, a revolutionary approach to accounting services that was quite literally going to change his fortunes.
“There wasn’t any money for me to study,” Marnus says. “I was going to need a job to pay for my degree if I wanted one. I’d read an article in Rapport that CAs were the best paid professionals, so I applied for bursaries and internships at local auditing firms in Harrismith in the Free State, and applied to study accounting through Unisa.
“A local auditing firm offered me a position to do my articles with them, and that was how I got my degree — I studied through Unisa and worked at the auditing firm, earning a tiny salary and doing my articles. And I worked hard. Every day, from 5am to 10pm I was working for this terrible salary, generally in the filing room, and studying at night. I did that for four years. I still have memories of climbing up the ladder to the top files in this windowless room and having a little cry to myself. I was overworked, exhausted and earning almost nothing, and my mates were all loving their university lives, going out partying every night, sleeping until 10am and attending a few lectures. It was tough.”
Marnus’s vision was simple. He wanted to take the boring out of accounting. He wanted to give business owners real information from their financial data that would help them to assess which business units were working, which products or services were higher earners with better margins, and where the opportunities for greater growth or cost savings lay.
The problem was that he was a very fresh-faced 22 year old. So much so that when he arrived at his first client — a referral from a client he’d serviced in Harrismith — the husband and wife team looked past him and asked if his father was joining them.
“They actually said to me, ‘are you Marnus? Is your dad also Marnus? Is he coming?’” he laughs. “I had to convince them to let me in and give me a chance.
“If I opened the business today I’d have online advertising in my corner; clients would find and come to me. I wouldn’t be this kid knocking on doors.”
But that’s what Marnus had to work with, and so he single-mindedly went out and networked until his shoes were worn down.