Olitzki Property Holdings Catalyzes Change in Johannesburg
(8 pages of text)
The large-scale abandonment of property in inner-city Johannesburg had brought waves of crime, illegal building occupation and general disinvestment. The founder of Olitzki Property Holdings (OPH) saw that an improvement at a precinct level, through carefully constructed partnerships with government, other property owners, tenants and illegal residents, was the key to building a sustainable, inclusive and socially grounded entrepreneurial business. OPH identified and bought derelict or illegally occupied buildings, then renovated and leased them to a combination of blue-chip and start-up businesses. While there was no doubt that OPH was profit focused, the ability to see the important role of development was a cornerstone of its success. Could the company — and the city — expand and maintain that success?
The three main topics for consideration in this case are:
- Entrepreneurial ecosystems: Students will gain insight into how to develop and engage with multi-stakeholder ecosystems as a crucial precursor to entrepreneurial success.
- Inclusive business models: Students will gain insight into how to develop innovative business models that promote inclusivity but retain an entrepreneurial edge.
- Effectual and causal thinking: The case provides a unique example of an entrepreneur who exhibits both effectual and causal thinking. The nature of property development lends itself to a more planning-oriented causal approach; however the unusual context in which this company operates dictates a more flexible effectual approach.
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
South Africa, Small, 1977-2014
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