Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa
The Visionary Image Credit: Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa
The Visionary Image Credit: Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa

The Visionary

As a poor township kid, Tim Hogins watched kids pile into buses heading to Sun City every weekend, knowing he couldn’t afford to join them. He was a youngster, but he made a promise to himself. One day he would build parks that anyone could visit — especially underprivileged kids like himself.

It’s taken almost 30 years to achieve that dream. Starting out as a security guard before moving into IT and then getting retrenched, Tim has built a business from nothing. But he had a dream, and he never let it waver. This is his story.

Nadine Todd

Seven years ago, Tim Hogins drove out of an office park and pulled onto the side of the road because he was having a panic attack. His car was closing in on him, he couldn’t see and he couldn’t breathe. After months of hard work, it was all over. His dreams were shattered.

Tim isn’t the first entrepreneur to find himself here, and he won’t be the last. What separates him from countless other aspiring business owners is that despite a massive setback, he didn’t back down. He sat in his car, phoned his wife, and told her what had happened. Instead of telling him it was time to move on and find a job, she asked him how they were going to cobble together the money he needed to start again.

And that was the beginning of Green Outdoor Gyms, a vision Tim had been nurturing for almost two years. A business idea that had led to his retrenchment and was almost ripped away from him by his business partners and investors.

But he didn’t quit. He pushed on. And today his business has a projected turnover of R150 million and has self-funded three huge lifestyle parks that Tim hopes will impact the lives of thousands of underprivileged children while providing jobs for hundreds more.

THE IN-BUILT ART OF TENACITY

To understand Tim, you need to understand where he came from. As a township kid growing up in Randfontein on the West Rand of Johannesburg, Tim always helped his parents to sell st


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