Jamie Wyngaard’s Take On Entrepreneurship & Financial Management In SA’s Creative Space

Raised in the notorious Cape Flats, entrepreneur Jamie Wyngaard found himself in the creative space after noticing a gap in the market of people needing help with unpacking and validating their business ideas. Wyngaard began to explore ways to fill this gap, and soon started The Agency – a company that creates customer-centric and solution-based business models for new or scaling businesses. 

We caught up with the self-employed creative and influencer for the newly launched banking app, Bettr, to chat about navigating the industry as an entrepreneur, as well as his partnership with Bettr. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about your agency, as well as why you chose to start it, when and how the process went.

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. People come up with ideas all the time, but the holdup is not knowing how to take it from idea to start-up to scale. This was the problem I identified and started helping more people develop their concepts. We use Agiletechniques to work fast with the main practice in Design Thinking to make sure that whatever we build has the end-user in mind.  If your business is not customer-centric then you’re going to waste a lot of time and money trying to get it going. Validate before you invest, make sure what you’re doing is on the right track, this is what I love doing and this is what we do at The Agency.

How the process went… Running your own business is not always as glamorous as people make it out to be. When you’re starting out you need to be everything, you work overtime without a real guarantee of an income but you push on. “Be your own boss,” sounds like a great idea but you need to be disciplined and actually do the work. The trick I learned is to get a good team that can do everything better than you can. 

As an individual who has gone through the process, or journey rather, of starting your own business, what kind of support do you think entrepreneurs like yourself need more of?

Support…. Gosh… I would say a safe space to try things and fail. Often, as entrepreneurs, we have to invest all we have into ideas and it can end up being high-risk. You can only go as far as your budget and if it doesn’t work out you’re back at financial square negative one. I see the big need for seed funding ideas and this is something I want to be working on to solve. I want to be able to make space for creatives/entrepreneurs to have a support team and the mental freedom to not worry about the basics… It would be cool to have a UBI for entrepreneurs.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt as a young entrepreneur?

I think the biggest lesson is not to get married to your ideas. Be flexible and take criticism. You can consistently improve your offering and even yourself if you keep an open mind to listen and learn about what people have to say. Truth is gold but the tricky part is that it’s hard to find, not because people are liars, but because people often care more about your feelings than your overall success. Find people who can be blunt with you, as hard as it sounds or feels, you need it.4.

On to the topic of money and financial management; what are some of the things you learnt about finances and managing money? Are these lessons you learnt as you grew up or only after you started generating an income?

I wish I could invest sooner… I feel that investing in things that can grow on its own and give consistent dividends and return is really an easy way to live. This is what I’m working on now, investing, and diversifying my portfolio. Small amounts that I can spread into different ventures and people. Eventually, I don’t want to work for my money but have my money work for me. 

Big tip! Know how to use credit! If spending on credit is not going to give you a bigger return then don’t do it! Try to keep your debt to a minimum or best to have none. Think before you spend on your account or credit card. So many people are living out of their means coz they’re not able to take advantage of access to credit to make money. Instead, we want to splurge to create a false image and spend more than we bring in.

Briefly tell us about what you think South Africa’s youth need from the country’s systems in place, such as banking the banking sector?

Current banks are not being open and honest and position themselves to capitalize on people’s ignorance. Banks should be helping people make more money and not just be there to charge us for keeping it, then charge us again when we want to use it.

As one of the Bettr influencers, where do you think Bettr can go, and what would you like to see come from this newly launched banking app?

Bettr, to me, isn’t actually a bank, I see it as a human solutions company. Banking isn’t something anyone wants to do but it’s so important. Everything banking-related should work in the background and we should all just go on with our lives. Like the Uber of banking, things should just happen. No more paperwork, no more filling in forms, no worrying about what I can or can’t afford. We should all just live and the AI should be dealing with and managing all our finances.12. 

How and why do you think Bettr bank is a better banking option for the next generation of money makers?

We are an on-demand culture, Netflix babies. Other banks are currently able to give us on-demand services or advice but charge a premium for that “convenience”. Bettr, however, changes the game. Convenience is standard. 

The biggest thing I see Bettr doing is having our money work for us without us needing to know any complicated investment stuff. Another huge plus is that you basically have 24/7 access to a private banker and it’s all for free. No other bank can actually afford to do what Bettr is doing and I know how much work went into being as intuitive and customer-centric as possible.  Other banks are going to have a hard time catching up.

Between 10 and 5