Founder of Undercover Millionaire International and past pupil of Edenglen High School, Mr Louis Tshakoane, recently visited his old school where he spoke to pupils about starting his business at a young age.
The passion for business of 27-year-old millionaire and businessman developed at the age of 15.
He created his first business, Botho Gym, which is based in Tembisa, with the assistance of Sir Richard Branson.
He said he sent a letter to Sir Richard with his proposal for a business idea for a gym and after some time received feedback that he had impressed Branson.
Sir Richard gave Mr Tshakoane equipment worth $200 000 at the time to start his gym.
“I appealed to his former youth and I impressed him with my idea,” said Mr Tshakoane.
He said the the driving force behind his idea was to create a gym to assist the youth of the area in an attempt to keep them away from substance abuse and crime.
“I love making a difference in people’s lives,” said Mr Tshakoane.
After working for well-known and international companies such as Lamborghini and UBS to build up his network, Mr Tshakoane decided to do two years of missionary work in South Africa.
“I worked a lot with Hope Restoration ministries and learnt a lot about myself during that time,” said Mr Tshakoane.
The idea for Undercover Millionaire International came to Mr Tshakoane when he realised how little trust there was in the business world for millionaires and business people.
“I wanted to create a network for business people and aspiring business people to get in touch with each other. I wanted to combine the energy and ideas of the youth with the wisdom and experience of the elders,” said Mr Tshakoane.
He said the organisation facilitates trust and builds bridges of trust between people through the use of technology.
An important concept of Undercover Millionaires is the idea of giving back to the community.
“It’s not about the money. It is about making a difference.”
He said by giving back to the communities, schools and churches Undercover Millionaires International is able to show the community what it does and the importance of community building.
“Actions speak louder than words,” said Mr Tshakoane.
One of the biggest challenges that Mr Tshakoane faced while on his path to developing Undercover Millionaires was that there was no platform for the youth to showcase their ideas.
“Another challenge was the lack of belief in the youth and individuals. When I give speeches to people I tell them to look at the person next to them and say ‘I believe in the undercover millionaire in you’,” said Mr Tshakoane.
“If we love each other and work together we can do anything,” said Mr Tshakoane.