Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is a published set of principles that explain how we work with entrepreneurs

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is a published set of principles that explain how we work with entrepreneurs.

We want to be transparent so that you know what to expect before you work with us. There are many business support programmes available; it is important to select the support that fits what you are looking for. If these principles seem obvious, then you are probably a good match. If you don’t like what is written here, you should think carefully whether Riversands is right for you.

Principle 1: It's your business

You are the business owner and it’s up to you to build your business each day. We care about your success, but we don’t get more excited about your business than you do. We will give advice, when you ask for it, but you are free to make up your own mind.

Principle 2: You create your basket of services

Different industries, stages of growth and business models need different things. Work with us to find a mix of services and resources that work for your business. We don’t expect you to accept every service or attend an event. We want you to select what works for you. We know your time is precious. You may be busy keeping your clients happy or meeting a big order. Many of our services can help you grow your business and keep those clients happy.

Principle 3: Talk to us

We want to know what is happening in your business. What you’re thinking and what keeps you awake at night. That’s how we learn what you need most. We believe in straight talk. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear, tell us how it is. If your business is flying and you can’t keep up, we want to hear that too. We may be able to help you make that big order or hire faster. The Hub is a community for entrepreneurs. This only works if we talk to each other.

Principle 4: Real world readiness

Our ecosystem is ‘small business friendly’. But the real world is tough and we can’t take away the pressures that go with growing a sustainable business. You need to build the capabilities and entrench those behaviours that will see your business succeed. At times this will seem like tough love, but high standards of professionalism and accountability are necessary for sustained success. We don’t want to make things so comfortable that your business is not viable outside the incubator.

Principle 5: Mastery takes time

No one starts out as a business guru. In our opinion, if you don’t feel overwhelmed at some point, you’re not doing it right! You are on a long journey – for both your business and yourself – you will get better at different things at different times. Putting theory into practice is hard. You won’t always succeed the first time. But rather try, than just talk about it. You will feel like giving up. But stay curious and keep pushing forward. Embrace learning.

Principle 6: Entrepreneurship demands sacrifice

Entrepreneurship is not a quick road to riches but of course we still want all our entrepreneurs to be wealthy one day. However, this probably means making lifestyle sacrifices for now. Invest in your business and it will be worth it in the end. We want to invest our time, energy and space in performance-orientated entrepreneurs with integrity. Entrepreneurs who are seriously committed to meeting their business obligations, even when it means a personal sacrifice.

Principle 7: Business failure happens

Businesses can fail. Sadly, the failure rate for small business is high. This doesn’t mean failure can’t be avoided. Or that one business failure is the end of your entrepreneurial journey. Yes, failure hurts but work with us to make it less painful. You don’t have to destroy yourself. It’s tough we know, but we will try to help you soften the fall. Sometimes it’s better to fail fast, and get up again.

Principle 1: It's your business

You are the business owner and it’s up to you to build your business each day. We care about your success, but we don’t get more excited about your business than you do. We will give advice, when you ask for it, but you are free to make up your own mind.

Principle 2: You create your basket of services

Different industries, stages of growth and business models need different things. Work with us to find a mix of services and resources that work for your business. We don’t expect you to accept every service or attend an event. We want you to select what works for you. We know your time is precious. You may be busy keeping your clients happy or meeting a big order. Many of our services can help you grow your business and keep those clients happy.

Principle 3: Talk to us

We want to know what is happening in your business. What you’re thinking and what keeps you awake at night. That’s how we learn what you need most. We believe in straight talk. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear, tell us how it is. If your business is flying and you can’t keep up, we want to hear that too. We may be able to help you make that big order or hire faster. The Hub is a community for entrepreneurs. This only works if we talk to each other.

Principle 4: Real world readiness

Our ecosystem is ‘small business friendly’. But the real world is tough and we can’t take away the pressures that go with growing a sustainable business. You need to build the capabilities and entrench those behaviours that will see your business succeed. At times this will seem like tough love, but high standards of professionalism and accountability are necessary for sustained success. We don’t want to make things so comfortable that your business is not viable outside the incubator.

Principle 5: Mastery takes time

No one starts out as a business guru. In our opinion, if you don’t feel overwhelmed at some point, you’re not doing it right! You are on a long journey – for both your business and yourself – you will get better at different things at different times. Putting theory into practice is hard. You won’t always succeed the first time. But rather try, than just talk about it. You will feel like giving up. But stay curious and keep pushing forward. Embrace learning.

Principle 6: Entrepreneurship demands sacrifice

Entrepreneurship is not a quick road to riches but of course we still want all our entrepreneurs to be wealthy one day. However, this probably means making lifestyle sacrifices for now. Invest in your business and it will be worth it in the end. We want to invest our time, energy and space in performance-orientated entrepreneurs with integrity. Entrepreneurs who are seriously committed to meeting their business obligations, even when it means a personal sacrifice.

Principle 7: Business failure happens

Businesses can fail. Sadly, the failure rate for small business is high. This doesn’t mean failure can’t be avoided. Or that one business failure is the end of your entrepreneurial journey. Yes, failure hurts but work with us to make it less painful. You don’t have to destroy yourself. It’s tough we know, but we will try to help you soften the fall. Sometimes it’s better to fail fast, and get up again.