One of the great ironies of venture capital in SA is that the less money a start-up needs, the less likely it is to raise the needed capital. The primary reason is that large funds are looking for big returns, which they are unlikely to get from small investments or early-stage start-ups. But it doesn't have to be that way. Investors betting on the smaller entities and nurturing them until they "qualify" for big investments are achieving a massive return on their investment. The relaunch this week of an innovative payment processing start-up symbolises the potential of small investments. Ozow Secure Payment, previously known as i-Pay, is the first local payment processor that does not charge processing fees for automated electronic funds transfers (EFTs) to emerging businesses, nongovernmental organisations and nonprofit organisations. Like many global start-ups in this era, Ozow is driven both by business objectives and a strong social conscience, says its CEO, Thomas Pays. Aside f...

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