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Thursday, August 18, 2022

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Sasfin’s head of commercial banking, who started out as a teller, is ready to help entrepreneurs in SA

Andile Hote. Image, supplied.

Andile Hote. Image, supplied.

Published Aug 4, 2022


The head of commercial banking at Sasfin, who started out as a teller in a bank, is offering support to entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Armed with a degree in economics and mathematical statistics, Andile Hote has walked a long journey from the rural parts of the Eastern Cape, working in the country’s leading financial institutions.

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“Knowing that my work supports entrepreneurs, the South African economy and job creation leads my approach to every deal we do at Sasfin. I come from those values - I know what they mean to our clients,” Hote told Business Report.

Hote says that South Africans’ famed resilience has truly been put to the test over the past two years, between Covid-19, electricity shortages, unrest, the increase in fuel prices, interest rate hikes and climate disasters.

“The country has been through so much but its entrepreneurs are simply not giving up, seeking opportunity in adversity to become the drivers of economic opportunity and job creation,” said Hote.

The banking sector is seeing increased interactions and deal flows that clearly point towards a recovery, with rebounding businesses once again looking to scale.

There's a massive opportunity for a bank with an adjusted risk appetite to develop creative funding structures for sectors that are responding directly to economic and socio-political events.

Multiple investment opportunities have emerged as a result of the country’s current energy crisis, with off-grid renewable energy solutions mushrooming in the metaphorical and literal darkness.

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“Rebounding businesses need committed and creative investment and funding partners, rather than being forced to limit their vision for growth by financial institutions with fixed mindsets,” said Hote.

“Helping entrepreneurs to realise their dreams at each new starting point in their journey, knowing that there’s a bigger picture at play, is about so much more than being their banking partner - it’s about the whole ecosystem and its potential to facilitate positive impact on society.”

It’s the notion of new starting points that has driven Hote since he was a young boy in a boarding school, where he was inspired to change the narrative of what it meant to grow up in an Eastern Cape township and be a role model for the children around him.

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“I believe if you want anything badly enough that nothing is impossible - you find a way to make it happen,” he said.

“Every person in business - whether it’s my colleagues in the bank or the clients that we deal with - has the potential to make a bigger impact in what we wake up to every day. Playing a part in supporting entrepreneurs’ dreams, in nurturing their genius, is our mark of success.

“Working with entrepreneurs at their ongoing starting points along their business journeys needs a solutions-based mindset that’s more about how we can make the deal work by deeply evaluating the risk profile, rather than walking away from the deal because it doesn’t fit into a tick box list,” Hote said.

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