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Dennis Mhangami

Dennis Mhangami

Lead Consultant at The Startup Coach
Johannesburg, South Africa

Mentorship Connection

$300 /month
This connection is free for Idea/concept and startup venture stages.

Two meetings per month

Unlimited chat, email, or text within boundaries.

Usually responds in about 1 week


I am an entrepreneur, consultant and academic with 24 years of experience in various industries throughout the Southern African region. My current focus is on start-up development through training, coaching and mentoring as well as strategy and innovation consulting for larger organisations.

I have worked in various companies in the Southern African region in various capacities mainly in marketing, sales, international business development and strategy. The key industries that I have been exposed to are FMCG(foods, beverages and personal care), pharmaceuticals and logistics. Notably, I have worked for the Coca-Cola Company as well as JSE-listed Ascendis Health Limited.

I have been a serial entrepreneur since I was a teenager and over the years have started many small enterprises some of which grew into sizeable medium-sized businesses. My interests are in EdTech, Pharma/medical, FMCG, agriculture and logistics. I continue to invest in small businesses as a minority stakeholder.

Over the years I have been assisting SME owners with their businesses, from ideation to start-up through to scaling up on a personal and ad-hoc basis. In 2019, I was selected by E Squared Investments (part of the Alan Gray Foundation) to help them pilot a an entrepreneurship development programme, Pathways, for their cohort of former Alan Gray scholarship beneficiaries as a business coach. The pilot was successful with the 4 start-ups receiving commercial funding. Through my consultancy, The Startup Coach Pty Ltd, I currently coach 15 for profit and 12 social enterprises in the E Squared ecosystem. Furthermore I work with incubators and accelerators to help develop their investees

My first degree is a B Comm Honours in Marketing from the National University of Technology. Furthermore I hold a Master of Management degree in Entrepreneurship and New VentureCreation. Currently I am a PhD candidate with WBS and my research focuses on Business Model Innovation

Mentor type

Spoken languages


Geographic focus

Mentorship motivation

  • I want to give back to the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurs coming up
  • I want to scout for new opportunities in engaging as an advisor or for a board seat

Entrepreneurship is the key driver for economic development. Unfortunately the entrepreneurship ecosystem in South Africa is not conducive for small businesses to develop and thrive without assistance. It is generally believed that the most important resource required by entrepreneurs is financial capital but more often than not, in my experience, the equally require some guidance and support from mentors and coaches. The incubator and accelerator programmes that I work with provide financial as well as non-financial support and this has proven to be highly effective. As an academic I strongly believe that human capital development is absolutely essential for entrepreneurs.