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CGF Research Institute: Terry Booysen

Don’t miss out on a unique opportunity to differentiate your business

Juliet Pitman

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Terry Booysen of CGF

“Mervin King makes it very clear thatcorporate governance applies to all organisations, irrespective of size,” saysTerry Booysen, executive director of CGF Research Institute, referring to theKing II Report on Corporate Governance. His point about size is particularlyrelevant to SMB owners, most of whom believe governance is an issue pertainingonly to directors of listed companies.In this respect they couldn’t be morewrong. But SMBs face multiple challenges when it comes to implementingcorporate governance principles within their organisations. On the one hand,there’s the challenge of budgetary constraints when it comes to training staffabout corporate governance. Because, as Booysen is quick to indicate, corporategovernance is not just an issue for directors and managers, it needs to belived out in the behaviour of all employees of an organisation. SMB ownersstruggle to find the time and funds to make this happen.

Then there’s the problem of lack ofunderstanding. Cecilia Jofré, executive director and partner in CGF,elaborates: “The topic of corporate governance is complex; it is as broad as itis deep – companies need to strike a balance between their economic and socialgoals and between their individual and communal goals.  In realising this challenge, they require asound understanding of the topic and its related implications fornon-compliance.”It’s this understanding that is so oftenmissing, both in the corporate and SMB sector. This is where the CGF team comesin. The organisation conducts umbrella research on the topic of corporategovernance, aggregating both local and international best-of-breed governanceprinciples and practices, and making this information available to business inan easy-to-understand and relevant format.So if the information about corporategovernance is out there, why do so many organisations choose not to make use ofit? “Unfortunately I think many see corporate governance as a big whip,”Booysen says. “But companies must not see it as an over-regulated disciplinethat thwarts their business operation, because that is bad governance initself. Instead, they should look at corporate governance as an enabling toolthat allows them to differentiate their services.”

Corporate governance can provide SMBs witha competitive advantage. As Booysen indicates, “No one is an island inbusiness.” SMB owners wanting to conduct business with other, perhaps biggerorganisations, will need to ensure that their own businesses are run accordingto the principles of good corporate governance and business ethics. Doing sowill make them the business partner of choice for larger organisations, whosesupplier relationships are governed by the principles of fair and ethicalprocurement.The corporate governance space has changeddrastically in the past 10 years. As Booysen says, “There is far greaterscrutiny at all levels. Stakeholder activism is greatly encouraged and this hasplayed a significant role in highlighting the various areas and measures ofgovernance.” As a result of these factors, greater public pressure is beingplaced on organisations to take responsibility for their own good governance,and to be careful not to inadvertently support businesses that don’t themselvespractice good corporate governance.So what’s an SMB to do? As a basicrequirement, understand the fiduciary responsibilities that you hold as adirector. Then, depending on what industry area you play in, there areapplicable laws, charters and codes that will drive your behaviour. It’s a goodidea for SMBs to follow the behaviour of recognised good corporate citizens.“Latch on to good corporate citizens in the top end of business and try toemulate their behaviour in ways that are relevant to your business,” Booysensays, listing Absa and Harmony as just two cases in point. “On a broader level,look at the JSE’s Socially Responsible Investment index (SRI) for a guide onwhat principles to follow,” he adds.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

CEOwise

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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