About Us

Welcome to Thinkroom Consulting

About

Thinkroom Consulting was founded by Catherine Young in 2014. Catherine is also the managing partner at Grindstone Accelerator and Grindstone Ventures.

Catherine’s vision, when founding Thinkroom, was to use her vast knowledge and passion to provide a quality consulting service for both large corporations and developing digital tech entrepreneurs. To make a BIG impact on and in Africa by unlocking the true power of African innovation.

For almost a decade, Thinkroom has been helping businesses develop their own customised SME programmes, and assisting them with the implementation of those systems through our carefully curated programmatic approach. Once developed, we leverage our networks to introduce SMEs to corporate programmes. We also teach the SMEs to use management best practices, and the latest technologies to effectively reach existing and new markets. We strive to showcase what sustainable small business development should look like.

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OUR PRESENCE

According to ITC “Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the African economy, representing more than 90% of businesses and employing about 60% of workers, many of whom are women and youth. Helping small and medium-sized (SMEs) connect to international markets, ensures that the gains from trade are broadly distributed across the workforce.”

At Thinkroom we collaborate with big business and development organisations alike, to enable impact to entrepreneurs and SMEs across the African continent. We have navigated Africa’s diverse landscape and have engineered reliable relationships with entrepreneurial innovators across Africa.
Our goal is to connect big business with trailblazing African SMEs, train and enhance those entrepreneurs to unlock their full potential, and then use our extensive networks and relationships to skyrocket the SMEs into the market.

HOW WE WORK

At Thinkroom, our inherent intuition to entrepreneurship programme implementation has resulted in the development of extensive processes and practices, that we aim to use to unlock the incredible potential of Africa’s future.

We help our clients (large corporations and development organisations) formulate and refine their SME development strategy, from conception to the management of the interventions, towards success.

We work extensively with African entrepreneurs and have devised numerous methodologies and practices to help them grow their businesses through robust assessment, bespoke roadmaps, Go-to-Market approaches, and assistance with access to funders. We are serious about the development of entrepreneurs and have extensive experience across Africa, the Middle East and the UK.

Our work is based on solid research and methodical project management. We have enabled a wide variety of corporations to grow their SME base successfully.

Another integral component to our success is our gravitational pull towards innovation. Our belief in continual learning and growth, means we are constantly sharing and publishing our latest research, allowing us to optimise in progressive spaces. Our design thinking, positions us at the apex as trusted leaders and advisors, who guide the business visionaries we serve.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a critical role in the creation of jobs in many countries across the world.

For an investment to contribute to Africa’s long-term development and growth, the continent’s investment environment must be clearly defined, with a focus on, and attention given to the position of SMEs.

Our extensive network and hands-on approach provide us with the unique opportunity to truly make an impact both for individuals and for Africa as a whole.

Our research-centric and systematic approach empowers us to aid a diverse assortment of businesses, helping them to grow their SME base productively and sustainably in order to have a positive impact on the broader African economy.

On a more personal note, we are also a small business, and we understand the journey many small businesses are on. During our time working with and growing SMEs, we have come to understand the importance of self-worth and empowerment.

When a small business is empowered and starts to grow, its team members collectively adopt a culture of motivation and purpose. We have seen how hard work benefits them beyond monetary compensation. How it promotes an altered, sustainable mindset and fuels self-actualisation.

Choice is empowering. It sparks a chain reaction of change that makes an impactful, sustainable difference. These changes unite to shape the African landscape.

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meet our amazing team

The Faces Behind our Success

CATHERINE YOUNG

FOUNDER

Catherine Young is an African entrepreneur with substantial experience growing and building startups. Catherine’s extensive industry experience is underpinned by a huge passion for the start-up landscape and a deep engagement and care for people. Entrepreneurial development, including managing and coordinating efforts across SME ecosystems in Africa, funding, and working with clients in entrepreneurship development, has seen her established as a trusted voice in the African Entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Jakolien Strydom

Head of Design

As head of design, Jakolien is quirky, fun, and always creative – bringing artistry to both the Thinkroom brand and projects. Jakolien excels at taking abstract thoughts and concepts and expressing them visually.

Cameron Burt

Chief Coach

Cameron believes that small and medium businesses are the job creation engine of the economy. Using an array of world-class, proven tools, he assists clients in building measurable and sustainable value in their businesses. Cameron is passionate about growing the value of a business towards an eventual valuable exit for the founder.

What Our Customers Have to Say

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