Jaco Gerrits. Photo: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN – Rustenburg born entrepreneur Jaco Gerrit, is known as being a finalist in Mr South Africa 2015 but he has also earned his spot as one of the top entrepreneurs in Africa. 

Jaco first got inspired after matric, when he went to the UK for a year and took a gap year with friends and during that time he realised that he is not the type of person to work for someone else but was destined to have his own company.  

In an interview with Business Report, Gerrits said that for any entrepreneur failure will help them grow. 

Gerrits said: "When referring to the challenges for entrepreneurs, many people always refer to external challenges  such as access to funding or finding the right talent to join your team but I always say  that the biggest challenge is the internal challenges so the fear of failure and what other people will say mindset is extremely important and you need to see failure for what it is which is valuable feedback that allows you to change your approach."

When returning to SA, he looked at many opportunities such as one example was privatising transport for Anglo-Platinum and then he also started his studies getting a programming diploma.

During his studies, he engaged with Anglo platinum again to train works on accessing a database as part of one of their projects and he continued consulting for them for 6 months.

Jaco is a previous winner of the Top Technology Entrepreneur in Africa Award. 

 He's a previous winner of the Top Information & Communication Technology Entrepreneur in Africa Award and chairman of Thembela, an initiative which aims to address many of the socio- & local economic challenges we face via the implementation of innovative technology.

Gerrits is now the founder & chief executive for CrashDetech, a smartphone app developed that is an emergency app that saves lives by pinpointing your location when you are in a car accident, which received the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Top Leadership in Technology Award.

He also participated in “The Venture” South Africa, a global search for the best social entrepreneurs, where he had the honour of representing the country against 26 others in New York.

 “My first failures in business were really difficult, but also taught me some of my most valuable life lessons. I’ve recognised the importance of failure in your journey towards success," said Gerrits.