Going it alone and succeeding isn’t unheard of in entrepreneurial circles – but getting the right backing can accelerate your success. South African SMEs have a ‘big brother’ in Black Umbrellas, explains CEO Seapei Mafoyane.
The networks that the programme has are extensive. Along with mentorship, when these building blocks come together, they do something really majestic for the outlook of SMEs.
“The perception of SMEs in corporate South Africa is that they’re risky, unreliable and incompetent,” says Seapei. This results in a lack of opportunities for SMEs because large corporates still view them as potentially risky.
Joining Black Umbrellas offers the following:
Belonging to a group of people who are going through the same challenges that they are. I think it’s extremely encouraging to find people who understand the challenges in the environment you’re going through.
2. Entrepreneurial spirit
You find businesses in different sectors and at different maturity levels in their business lifecycle. It’s very encouraging for someone starting out in their business to find a more mature business, perhaps in their second or third year, that has banked some projects.
3. Relying on a big brother
Black Umbrellas has been able to build a brand that is recognised for understanding the needs of corporate South Africa and being able to empathise with the requirements and support structures of SMEs. What entrepreneurs look for in the programme is that big brother that helps them weather the storm.
“In a market where there’s quite a visceral relationship between corporate South Africa — where the majority of markets are — and smaller, medium enterprises trying to locate those opportunities, Black Umbrellas really is a meeting place,” says Seapei.
“We provide a marketplace for corporate buyers and SMEs to come together in an environment that is trusted. Some of the opportunities our businesses are able to access would not have been accessible to them if they were flying solo.”
SMEs abound, but it’s not always easy for larger corporations to find, vet and mentor them.
SMEs that join the Black Umbrellas programme have reported reaching levels they never saw themselves achieving outside of the programme.
“It sounds overly-simplistic, but I think the change is tremendous when SMEs join Black Umbrellas,” says Seapei. “It’s quite a thing to watch: A business trying to do this on their own and how their outcomes change when they join the programme.” Black Umbrellas opens them up to a network of help that is as wide as it is deep.
The Power of Partnership
“We’d never be able to do anything we do without relying on collaboration,” emphasizes Seapei. “We rely very heavily on corporate partnerships to avail those opportunities to us and those markets for SMEs to be able to do what they do.”
Black Umbrellas has an extensive network of funders and donors that is expanding continuously and prides itself on being the custodian of SME development in South Africa. She says the programme aims to ensure high-impact SMEs produce incredible results to turn the outlook of the economy around.
One of Black Umbrellas’ longest-standing partnerships is with Transnet:
- Transnet understands the mandate set out by Black Umbrellas and the need to invest in entrepreneurs.
- We’re able to support their supply chain through the development of these dynamic businesses that go on to transform their supply chain and respective communities
- Transnet has an incredible impact on the economy — through just two small incubators in Richard’s Bay and Port Elizabeth, with almost 500 jobs, which is a huge social return on investment.
BECOME A BLACK UMBRELLAS SME
Black Umbrellas’ mandate
Many start-ups don’t make it beyond the first two years because of inadequate planning, lack of support, financial or knowledge resources. Yet the growth of the SME sector in South Africa is vital for economic development of our country and in solving the unemployment crisis.
Black Umbrellas offers a platform through which to develop a business from its start-up phase to full independence. Because the programme addresses the multidimensional components required to develop an emerging business into a sustainable one, entrepreneurs are 100% supported on their business journey, which gives them the leverage to succeed. This support includes access to markets, networks and finance.
Emerging businesses are supported with infrastructure, mentorship and collaboration, to assist their transition from incubation to viable, independent businesses.
For committed, hardworking and dedicated entrepreneurs, this multi-tiered business support programme is an important catalyst in enterprise development.
Related: 10 Dynamic Black Entrepreneurs
Black Umbrellas’ contribution to the economy
- In seven years 1 000 SMEs have achieved a collective turnover of over R2 billion
- The programme has contributed a combined R118 million in taxes back to the fiscus
- Over 10 000 jobs have been created through our SMEs
- R436 million in salaries has been contributed as a result of the programme.
Mistakes to avoid when establishing your SME within a large supply chain
Focus on a specific area where you can add real value. You’ll never be able to maximise every opportunity by trying to be all things to all people, says Seapei. “As an SME you want to find a particular niche that you can fill successfully, thereby maximising your unique value proposition.”
Who should apply?
- Entrepreneurs with a business enterprise at its start-up phase
- The business should be registered with the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), and for small business tax
- You must have the passion to succeed and be willing to work to achieve your business goals
- You must be South African and black according to the BEE definition.
The 2017 National Enterprise Development Awards
Top performing small and medium enterprises have been recognised at the Black Umbrellas National Development Awards. Black Umbrellas established the National Enterprise Development Awards (NEDA) in recognition of the achievements of the entrepreneurs in their business incubation programme. These awards highlight the hard work and dedication required to establish and sustain a successful business that creates jobs and contributes to the economy.
The finalists were selected from regional enterprise development awards ceremonies held at each of the Black Umbrellas incubators across the country. The businesses in the incubators have altogether created and preserved over 10 000 jobs across key economic sectors, which include mining, construction, engineering, security services and project management.
Overall winners were:
- Most Jobs Created: Hula Minerals and Processing
- Best Performing Company: Aquila Projects (PTY) LTD
- Best BU Ambassador: Recycle 1st
- Overall National Winner: Modi Mining
- Incubator of the Year: Johannesburg incubator
- People’s Choice Award Winner: Recycle 1st
Seven Years 1 000 SMEs R2 billion collective turnover
- Contributed a combined R118 million in taxes back to the fiscus
- Created more than 10 000 jobs
- Contributed R436 million in salaries
- Expect more from your ESD Investment.
With Hundreds Of Franchise Options Out There, Choose The One You Can Trust
If you’re looking to invest in a business venture that offers you years of experience in the industry, the trust and loyalty of its customers, and franchise support from an expert team – then Hi-Q is the one for you.
What you’ll become a part of
Since opening their doors in 1999, Hi-Q has gone from strength to strength, growing a humble three store enterprise into an extensive 130-store franchise network with a unique multi-product and multi-services automotive offering.
Hi-Q’s approach to business is centred around being ‘the one you can trust’ to their customers, their suppliers and their franchisees.
“That has always been the key driver in everything we do,” says Sean Harrison, Hi-Q’s Managing Director. “For example, when it comes to our customers, they need to know they can rely on us to put their safety first.
That we’ll always strive to offer them expert, friendly service and top of the range products, while also keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies and advancements in our field.”
An acclaimed and awarded brand
Hi-Q has again and again proven themselves to be a leader in the industry.
They’ve been voted South Africa’s No.1 tyre retailer for eight consecutive years (2010 – 2017) by consumers in the Ask Africa Icon Brands Survey, the biggest of its kind in Africa – a clear indication that they are respected and trusted by their customers.
Hi-Q Franchisees all have the support of an expert and knowledgeable team with years of experience in the industry, who are available to guide them on their business venture. This includes areas of business such as marketing/promotional, commercial, organisational structure, tools and equipment, sales and more.
Franchisees also have access to various skills training opportunities for members of their team.
Hi-Q is invested in providing their network with the tools needed to thrive and grow in an ever-challenging market.
Relationship with Goodyear
Hi-Q has the support and backing of international tyre of multinational premium tyre manufacturer, Goodyear, and its full value proposition. This means access to incredible promotional and marketing opportunities in partnership with the brand.
Hi-Q has embarked on an extensive expansion plan and have identified areas of opportunity to extend their Franchise footprint growth countrywide.
You’ll find more information on our website www.hiq.co.za We’d like to invite those who are interested to become part of our team to contact 011 663 2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get The Edge This Winter
Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.
From Gauteng’s most trusted provider of the best learning experiences, come five WITS-curated courses starting in July 2019. Use the longer, colder days to curl up with a “good book” and emerge from winter with a new edge.
There are three online short courses offered via the WITS Digital Campus, starting 15 July.
Managing Labour Relations
This 10 week course will equip you with sound knowledge of South Africa’s complex labour landscape and an understanding of your legal rights as an employee or employer.
You will also learn skills for navigating employer / employee relationships successfully, and get tools for managing disputes effectively. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management Practice
This 10 week course is packed with practical and theoretical information to help retail managers, supply chain supervisors, stock controllers and even CEOs drive efficiencies in the value chain.
It covers everything from improving exporting transportation, warehousing, order processing and procurement to financial management and managing waste. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Applied Digital Marketing
We operate in an increasingly digital world and traditional marketing must include digital aspects and channels to be relevant.
This 10 week course will teach you to think digital, talk digital and deliver effective digital campaigns to elevate marketing and brand-building initiatives. You will learn to conceptualise and implement successful digital marketing strategies that drive customer acquisition, optimise your digital footprint and deliver business results.
There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Comprehensive onsite courses in July include:
Real Estate Investment Analysis
This intensive five day course is for people who have been introduced to the real estate discipline at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels. It is designed to provide higher level, more focused training as well as tools for analysing different types of real estate investments at the individual asset level, and measuring investment performance.
The course will benefit property practitioners who do not have property degrees; past graduates of SAPOA programmes in different aspects of the real estate business and people from different disciplinary backgrounds considering entering the profession. The course takes place over five days from 1 to 5 July 2019.
Advanced Performance Management
Presented by the School of Accountancy together with Wits Enterprise, this course is designed to prepare students for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Professional level exams.
On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance
- Assess and identify key external influences on organisational performance
- Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance
- Advise on business performance evaluation as well as recognize vulnerability to corporate failure
The course will run from 15 July to 22 October 2019.
For more information on registering for any of these courses, criteria for registering, and costs, visit.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.
The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll
One of an organisation’s biggest overheads is that of salaries and wages. And yet, if these are not processed on time, it can negatively impact staff morale and create the impression that the company is not financially stable.
For a small business, payroll is normally the responsibility of an accountant or bookkeeper, but even administrators can sometimes be roped in to do the job, even though they have no expertise in the matter. This is where the value of outsourcing your payroll comes in.
When should you outsource?
- If you want to grow your business but are not aware of ongoing legislative changes that could pose a risk to your company, then it is better to get professionals to assist.
- Accountants and bookkeepers are not specialists and do not keep up with the compliance environment. If you outsource your payroll, you enable them to focus their core duties and not get bogged down by legislative complexities.
How to choose an outsourced service provider
Understandably, payroll is a sensitive subject dealing with highly confidential information.
This is often the last thing a small business owner wants to outsource. It is therefore vital that the company does its homework and researches the potential outsourcing partner thoroughly.
Instead of going with the first available service provider or the cheapest one, here are some questions to ask:
- Is the service provider a one-man band and, if so, what backup resources are available?
- Is the service provider a recognised payroll provider belonging to a professional body?
- Do they have the necessary training and skills on payroll?
- What does the service provider do to ensure it stays up to date with legislation?
- How secure is the payroll data and can the service provider take on historic data?
- How easy is it to recover your payroll data in the event of a disaster?
- What value-adds can the service provider offer? These can include anything from leave management and third-party payments, to employee self-service, time and attendance management, and any other related human resource service.
- Can they process salaries and/or wages hourly, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
- Can the service provider accommodate your growth requirements if you open new branches?
- Is the service provider able to assist with payrolls in other African countries, manage their currencies, and deal with their regulatory environments?
- What processes are in place to ensure the timeous processing of payrolls?
The advantages of outsourcing your payroll
One of the most obvious benefits of going the outsourcing route is freeing up your resources to focus on your core strategic objectives. This ensures you provide quality of service and control costs while an experienced partner takes care of your payroll.
Here are a few other benefits:
- Reduce operating costs.
- Statutory compliance and consistent service delivery.
- Access to the latest technology, as well as skilled and dedicated payroll resources.
- Access to a secure, risk-free and confidential payroll environment.
- Increased flexibility and responsiveness.
- Streamlined internal processes and procedures.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.