New Student Accommodation Fund created by Growthpoint, Feenstra Group & Investors
Experienced. Trusted. Proven. “If it’s worthwhile doing, it’s worth doing well.” This is the quote that Pieter Feenstra often repeats to his young and dynamic team at the Feenstra Group in South Africa. Another, more tongue-in-cheek one is: “Be careful when euphoria is everywhere – even turkeys can fly in a hurricane.”
Feenstra’s career commenced as a consulting structural engineer. He was also the founder of TFMC, which is nationwide and has regional offices in all provinces. He formed the Feenstra Group which focuses on Commercial, Student accommodation, Inner city and Residential real Estate development.
As the Group’s Chairman and Founder, Pieter Feenstra has over 30 years of experience in property development and management. His first property development project evolved out of his consulting work as a structural engineer, during which time he worked closely with several property developers and developed a fascination for the industry. Feenstra explains that this led him to eventually take the plunge and sell his consulting firm to focus exclusively on property.
This sentiment is shared by Head of Partnership Growth SA at IWG, Alan van der Westhuizen. For Alan, boundless visionaries who excel in the work they do ignite his spark to work hard to keep the standard of his work extremely high. “Big thinkers that can bring innovative ideas to the table excite me, being able to see the opportunity and to activate it motivates me and planet-friendly, sustainable ideas motivate me as well.”
Coworking has not always been alienated from human nature. It has always been common amongst people either in group projects at the same workplaces like with Van der Westhuizen who has co-worked with an acquaintance for more than twenty years in the food and beverages sector, where he co-managed the day-to-day running of the restaurant. “After a number of years abroad working in the hospitality industry, I returned to SA to join a friend and founder of News Café who had just opened his first store in Pretoria.
Fournews was formed in 1996 and I was responsible for franchise development in the group since its inception. My skills vary and range from strategic and operational management to the financial analysis of franchise brands and more recently into the development of new brands. I was also responsible for the appointment of operational management and have, over the past twenty years, assembled teams that display the same passion, enthusiasm, and determination that I do.”
Born out of unusual circumstances, Trevor Noah’s way into the world was astonishing to many. A life story is very rare to find. It still amazes people how everything about him is different from the rest. He is a son of a mixed-race couple that dated in the 1980s, at an intense era in South Africa, where mixed-race couples were prohibited by The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, Act No 55 of 1949.
His mother, Nombuyiselo Patricia Noah’s drive to go for what she wanted, in a country where inequalities were rife and the race card dictated everything, is often made to relate to the life Trevor has portrayed while trying to make his name in the entertainment industry.
“She lived in a world where nothing was hers and she wanted her thing that she could love and that would lover her unconditionally,” said positive thinker, Trevor Noah. Speaking about what could have been in his mother’s mind when making a decision to date and have a child with a white man in an apartheid engulfed country. Noah says: “My mom, in that moment, only thought the government says I am not allowed to be with a white man and I will be with a white man. She is the example that I live my life by,” he said.
Once again South Africa celebrates the dawning of a new unification season through world-class national rugby. The manifestation of many dreams of seeing a united nation, founded on the values of Ubuntu (Humanity) free of racial, societal, and social identity and/or discrimination. A nation that celebrates the beautiful features and diverse nature beard by South Africa and the appealing country it is.
This is all brought to life by the remarkable work done by the country’s national rugby team in the 2019 Japan rugby world cup. Led by the Springbok’s first black captain, Siya Kolisi, the Boks were victorious against England and brought home the golden Webb Ellis trophy.
There is an array of interpretations of the effects of the Springbok’s win in the 2019 rugby world cup economically and socially. In South Africa the issue of race is constant and the racial diversity seen in the rugby team is considered by many a steer towards the right direction. It not only signals the possible diversification of the team players’ racial quotas but the possibility of a diverse and mixed-race national rugby team leadership.
Gil Sperling, a visionary and serial entrepreneur is the CEO of Flow – a proptech platform that is revolutionising how people rent and live. Sperling started his career as an engineer and was one of three founding partners of Popimedia. A pioneering ad-tech and performance marketing in Africa. Popimedia went on to be bought by French-based global communications group, Publicis, in the largest deal of its kind.
The impressive CEO considers his time with Popimedia to being his most significant personal achievement. Not only because of the impressive deal but because he helped to build it from the ground up. Taking Popimedia from start-up and developing it into the largest ad-tech and performance marketing business in Africa.
“The whole experience showed me that when innovative spirits and pioneering are focused on a purpose-driven vision, incredible things can happen. This in large part is what drives all of us at Flow.” His experiences helped to shape his next startup, as he used the experience capital of those around him to his advantage. A variety of people, with diverse backgrounds and experiences with a shared goal, is what Sperling attributes the success of Flow to.
It all started at age 10 when Musk developed an interest in computing, an interest that was influenced by his father who was an African electromechanical engineer, a pilot, and a sailor. At the age of 12, Musk was already a self-taught computer programmer. He created his first video game, codes of which he sold to PC and Office technology magazine for $500. This was all before he attained his University qualifications, signalling that his prosperity lies not in formal education, but in the ability to invent the unimaginable.
Describing himself, Musk says “I think I have an extremely high innate drive, which has always been evident in my life growing up. As a kid, I always did risky things that when I ask myself now as a grown man why, I cannot even answer,” he says.
Musk’s drive to always test situations by “attempting” has always been prompted by his ability to think critically and analyse possible outcomes while paying less attention to the fear and anxiety of the unknown. He says the ability to think critically is, amongst others, “the reason I am where I am today,” and that critical thinking makes it easy to put things into perspective.