Marius Schonken, managing director of Mercury Finance, has proven that you’re never too young to follow your dreams and make a difference.
The 29-year-old CEO and entrepreneur, who was born and raised in Mossel Bay, started his first business in primary school, incorporating his passion for charity work into every endeavour.
Since he was a child he wanted to change the lives of as many South Africans as possible and now with the Mercury Charity Foundation, he can do just that.
The foundation launches in January next year focusing on the basic needs of underprivileged South Africans.
“This could include anything from personal needs to self-development and upliftment. I am planning to get major retailers involved and build close relationships with corporates as we uplift South African communities,” said Schonken.
Schonken is the founder and CEO of Mercury Finance, a company he launched to offer sustainable financial and administrative solutions throughout South Africa.
Mercury Finance is a leading Private Equity Firm specialising in short-term bridging, long-term project investment, business investment, asset management, logistics, the educational sector, renewable energy solutions, and Petroleum and Mining.
The company’s focus is on providing financial and administrative support to SMEs in South Africa and Namibia.
At the age of 15, Schonken started trading stocks, something that expanded his vision into the financial world and the way he perceived finances and wealth creation.
“I realised that everyone’s financial situation could be changed through the way finances are perceived and I wanted to teach the necessary skills to as many entrepreneurs as possible, this is a skill that can be taught,” said Schonken, adding that he strived to build organisations to break away from the corporate structure and make a substantial difference without driving slavery but involving everyone to make them part of one big happy family.
In 2008 he started his trading career and in 2017 he started a company called FS Capital with his family friend Mark Furness who played a major role in his business and personal life.
In 2018, Schonken used his initiative to start a company Sure Consulting which was intended to be a consulting firm for small businesses in small micro-economic towns that couldn’t afford a lot to make their business work but supplied resources at cost, just to get into the market and get known.
This spurred him to venture into business with his cousin, Leonard Langenhoven, with whom he runs and manages a group of companies as a family business.
“This has been an amazing journey for us and we are privileged to work together and make a great team. We are fortunate enough to have wonderful individuals as part of our teams and we are grateful for having them,” he says.
His wife, Gemma Schonken, and his family are also major support factors in his life and business success.
“She has been with me through the whole journey and always had faith that with my drive and passion for business and people, I would without any doubts achieve the goals I set out.”
Sure Consulting became the Holding company of his company group adding up to 19 actively managed companies.
In 2019, Schonken partnered with a South African financial services company, Finwel Financial Management Services, to expand his business locally and internationally.
“Asset value of my investment portfolio has grown on average 900% over the last two years during the Covid19 pandemic,” he said.
Those successes aside, Schonken’s focus is always on community.
“We plan to create a group that will change the way people think about business and society. All business people aren’t just money grabbers, but also building and adding value as we go along,” he said.
They are focussing on projects that will have a major positive impact on the country and especially the youth.
“We believe in building our youth because they are the future of our country. We are launching our Primary and Secondary education platform (EduGrowth), in the first quarter of 2023 which will assist our youth with better education and allow them to have access to more opportunities in their careers,” he said.
We are planning to become a sub-Saharan Africa solution as we believe this is the continent of opportunities and we can have the most impact on millions of people’s lives.
His portfolio includes the following: Educational Sector Investment, Short Term Bridging, Long-Term Project Investment, Business Investment, Asset Management, Logistical Investment, Renewable Energy Solutions, Petroleum and Mining.
Schonken’s highlights include fundraising with strategic local and international partners for renewable energy in South Africa to the value of $200mil. The serial entrepreneur has also raised R200 million for small businesses in South Africa.
“I am also actively investing in various water and power solutions throughout Southern Africa to uplift his fellow South Africans and extend a helping hand to rural communities through this they will have access to water and sanitation that’s a basic human right,” he says.