University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has appointed Merchant Capital’s Founder and CEO, Dov Girnun as the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) for the MBA Entrepreneurship Focus programme. This is the first appointment of its kind by GIBS.

While the School currently has an Executive in Residence, former Anglo-American Executive Director Andile Sangqu, the Entrepreneur in Residence post focuses purely on entrepreneurship and the MBA Entrepreneurship Focus programme. In this role, Girnun will interact with and support past and current students who want to start or scale their businesses. A seasoned entrepreneur, he will give guidance and advice to MBA students who are either interested in entrepreneurship or are currently entrepreneurs and need help bringing their ideas to fruition.

A successful entrepreneur who is passionate about growing small businesses and watching them succeed, Girnun has qualifications from Harvard Business School and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. His company, Merchant Capital, is an award winning and leading alternative provider of working capital to small and medium sized businesses in South Africa.

“We are very excited to have Dov with us. It is an honour and a privilege to have someone of his stature volunteer his time to help upcoming entrepreneurs. We look forward to having him share his experience and knowledge with our MBA students,” said Dr Jonathan Marks, lead faculty on the MBA Entrepreneurship Focus.

"Now, more than ever, the country needs a buoyant entrepreneurship ecosystem and we all need to play our part in supporting young and upcoming entrepreneurs"

Girnun will spend time with MBA students providing coaching, mentoring and business advice; hosting forums and masterclasses; and helping faculty with guest lecturing, research and course development. “I’m looking forward to having meaningful and impactful engagements with students as they journey into entrepreneurship. Now, more than ever, the country needs a buoyant entrepreneurship ecosystem and we all need to play our part in supporting young and upcoming entrepreneurs,” he said.

“GIBS believes there is more to education than classroom learning, interactions with entrepreneurs and executives aims to inspire students as they share their insights and experiences. The School prides itself in creating deep meaningful connections that will have a positive impact on students,” said Dr Marks.

About GIBS:

Founded in 2000, the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) is an internationally accredited business school, based in Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub. As the business school for business, we focus on general management in dynamic markets to significantly improve responsible individual and organisational performance, primarily in the South African environment and increasingly in our broader African environment, through the provision of high quality business and management education. In May 2020, the annual UK Financial Times Executive Education rankings, a global benchmark for providers of executive education, once again ranked GIBS as the top South African and African business school. This is the 17th year running that GIBS has been ranked among the top business schools worldwide. In October 2019 the GIBS MBA was ranked among the top 100 business schools globally in the prestigious Financial Times Executive MBA Rankings. GIBS is one of two business schools in Africa to appear in this ranking.

GIBS is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is a member of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA), and the Association of African Business Schools (AABS). For more information, visit

About Dov Girnun - founder and CEO of Merchant Capital:

Entrepreneur, Dov Girnun founded Merchant Capital in 2012 with start-up funding of R3-million. Since then, the Johannesburg based fintech company has enabled the growth of South African SMEs by providing over R1.5-billion worth of quick, simple access to unsecured working capital.

He began his formal career in London’s financial industry until his ambitions to own a business brought him back home to South Africa.

Merchant Capital was created to provide funding in the largely underserviced small business finance sector. Girnun created a business model with his founding partners to address this challenge. The fintech provides qualifying merchants with an upfront lump sum in the form of a cash advance in exchange for a small, fixed percentage of future turnover.

The dynamic CEO has since grown the South African business to take on an industry leading position that has now helped thousands of small businesses. Most recently, the business has been recognised on an international stage, being named Best Small Business Funding Solution in South Africa in the UK-based Wealth & Finance magazine’s 2020 FinTech Awards.

“The biggest impediment to growth as an entrepreneur is access to finance, my team really wanted to change that landscape for South African entrepreneurs. Merchant Capital is based on the challenges we’ve all personally experienced as entrepreneurs.”

Girnun is also the Founding member of SASFA (South African SME Finance Association), founded to promote a fair and transparent SME Finance Industry and to protect SME’s from unscrupulous players in the market. SASFA has published a code of conduct on its roles and responsibilities in order to protect its customers, and ensure the industry does not fall into the same traps as micro-lenders.

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