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What business opportunities are available in the environmental and waste management industries and in the eco, green business sectors?

South Africa like the rest of the world is becoming increasingly environmentally conscious.

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Think Green

There are many ways to turn trash to cash. Sorting for recycling, battery recycling, waste processing, renewable energy solutions, acid mine drainage and infectious clinical and hazardous waste disposal are just some of the many possibilities. There are some very useful websites that will point you in the right direction in terms of needs and trends.

Local sites

The Institute of Waste Management: There’s loads of information on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) website. This information includes training and education. This organisation comprises of voluntary members who promote environmentally acceptable, cost effective and appropriate waste management practices in South Africa.

Science Africa: This local online magazine has lots of news, funding and grant information regarding environmental, scientific and health issues directly affecting society.

Earthlife Africa:
Earthlife Africa encourages and supports individuals, businesses and industries to reduce pollution, minimise waste and protects natural resources.

E-waste
: eWASA is the e-waste association of South Africa – is the platform for recycling of electrical and electronic waste in South Africa.
International sites

Ideas Inspiring Innovation: For international waste management ideas.

Waste-Management World: This online magazine is packed with ideas and information.

Training and skill requirements

You do not need specific skills to operate a business in the environmental and waste management industry. Experience in the industry is beneficial. There are short courses as well as a variety of formal qualifications on offer. Contact the IWMSA for more information on short courses. These courses concern waste management usually take two days.

Formal qualifications include:

  • Waste management and pollution control (Usually a BSc degree with subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Climatology)
  • Technikon diploma – Environmental Science or Engineering
  • Environmental engineering Degree
  • B Tech degree in Civil Engineering

Most of the major educational institutions in South Africa offer these courses. For more information about workshops and short training courses, contact the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Producing energy and selling it in South Africa

Many good reasons exist for South Africa to invest in private renewable energy projects. These reasons are dominated by environmental concerns, diversity of supply, job creation and economic development.

It’s vital to reduce South Africa’s carbon footprint
Reducing the carbon footprint in South Africa is a very serious issue. This can be achieved in many ways. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large project – solar cookers, LED energy efficient lighting, wind energy or solar heated geysers, it all adds up in an effort to foster clean energy generation.

The SWH opportunity
By the end of December 2010, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) will publish amended national building regulations to make it compulsory for new buildings and upgrades to homes to install solar water heaters (SWHs) and other energy efficiency building requirements. It is expected that from March 2011 the dti will ensure that legislation is enacted to make it compulsory to install a SWH when an existing geyser is replaced.

Government is keen to fund electricity generation
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has stated that it is keen to fund electricity generation and, since the world is moving towards clean energy generation, solar is one of the IDC’s many clean electricity generation technologies of focus to deliver green jobs throughout the value chain. All these new regulations not only help our planet, but create wonderful new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

CST is the most promising renewable energy source

Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CST) is viewed as “the most promising renewable- energy generation option in South Africa” and it should receive priority support, even though wind and biomass should also be explored and developed, says the dti.

Biomass is plant material, either raw or processed, and includes agricultural residues, wood waste, paper trash, municipal solid waste (MSW), energy crops and methane captured from landfill sites. The problem is that the capital cost for building a biomass power plant is high.

Raising the money
Many expected Government to provide the financial support to make renewable energy into a viable business, but it has limited budgets. Financiers see renewable energy as a high-risk investment, so entrepreneurs have to think out the box to get new projects up and running.

Venture capital specialists and angel investors are possible alternative routes to consider when looking for funding. Venture Capitalists and angel investors are more likely to take risks. Venture capitalists are always willing and able to invest money in young and early stage companies. Angel investors are wealthy individuals seeking to invest their own money in early stage companies.

Speak to experts

The dti could also be a useful organisation to consult with, as it is heavily involved in the renewable energy industry. If you have specific projects talk to Mainstream Renewable Power SA. Its core business is to develop, build and operate wind energy, solar thermal and ocean current plants by collaborating with governments, power companies, developers and investors across South Africa, Europe, North America and South America.

Speak to energy efficiency networking associations such as The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE). Besides networking, they run renewable energy training courses including Introduction to Energy Management (IEMT), Certified Energy Auditor Course, Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) and Certified Energy Manager Course (CEM). Organisations such as the SAEE, attract organisations and funders that would be interested in innovative ideas with in the renewable energy industry.

Being Green in Business

The advantages of complying with the NEM Act is that it not only will business lower energy bills, but but will contribute to creating a healthy carbon footprint, reduce CO2 and reduce risk.

Is there a local standard for business to comply with?

In South Africa the department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) controls and monitors “green” business issues through the environmental management inspectorate, known as the Green Scorpions. They issue compliance notices to businesses who do not meet Government standards.

Those who fail to comply have to cease with activities that are considered a contravention of the country’s National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). The Act describes compliance standards.

How to get green

To get “green”, a business needs professional guidance. The certification process is independent of Government. However, it provides a business with real product differentiation, resulting in greater revenue and recognition from an increasingly selective market.

Independent certification provides assurance to the public that your company is operated and managed in an environmentally responsible manner and associating with your commitment provides peace of mind and respect.

There are various companies that you contact for certification. There are a number of companies who offer different specialities.

  • Heritage – The Environmental Management Company
  • Eco-Consulting
  • The Natural Step – South Africa
  • Green Earth Consulting

Bodies that monitor the Green industry in South Africa

Other than the DEA, there are some very useful organisations that will point you in the right direction in terms of needs and trends.

  • The Institute of Waste Management: There’s loads of information on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) website. This information includes training and education. This organisation comprises of voluntary members who promote environmentally acceptable, cost effective and appropriate waste management practices in South Africa.
  • Science Africa: This local online magazine has lots of news, funding and grant information regarding environmental, scientific and health issues directly affecting society.
  • Earthlife Africa: Earthlife Africa encourages and supports individuals, businesses and industries to reduce pollution minimise waste and protects natural resources.
  • E-waste: eWASA is the e-waste association of South Africa – is the platform for recycling of electrical and electronic waste in South Africa.

International sites

  • Ideas Inspiring Innovation: For international waste management ideas.
  • Waste-Management World: This online magazine is packed with ideas and information.

Why is running a green business so important?

Besides saving the planet and leaving a healthy legacy, going “green” is a powerful marketing tool which reinforces your company’s environmental commitment. It strengthens your point-of-sale impact and gives your company greater credibility in an increasingly eco-aware marketplace.

How has small business responded to “going green”?

According to an article which appeared on BizCommunity, Arthur Goldstuck, principal researcher of SME Survey 2010, said that the survey produced unexpected results in terms of “green business”. The assumption that peripheral concerns such as “being green” might be of less interest than establishing a profitable business was disproved when 78% reported that it is indeed important.

That’s exceptionally high. Goldstuck says this is almost certainly a consequence of business owners bringing their personal viewpoints of the necessity for environmentally sound practices into the workplace. Perhaps even more surprising is that emerging businesses were slightly more concerned than established companies. (Source BizCommunity)

Has the recession had an effect on clean energy and green business?

According to Greg Fisher, a lecturer and researcher in entrepreneurship, the recession has diverted people’s attention away from green issues; however, there is still a strong focus on managing businesses and the environment in a more sustainable way.

Fisher said that venture capitalists have large amounts of money set aside for green investments and many of the green ideas that were launched two years back at the height of the boom are now entering the market. In the coming months we will see a host of electric cars come to market, many of them developed by new independent companies.

“We will also continue to see bio fuels become a more mainstream alternative to current fossil fuels. New industries are emerging and with those come opportunities for entrepreneurs,” explains Fisher.

Training and skill requirements

You do not need specific skills to operate a business in the environmental and waste management industry. However, experience in the industry is beneficial. There are short courses as well as a variety of formal qualifications on offer. Contact the IWMSA for more information on short courses. These courses concern waste management usually take two days.

Formal qualifications include:

  • Waste management and pollution control (Usually a BSc degree with subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Climatology)
  • Technikon diploma – Environmental Science or Engineering
  • Environmental engineering Degree
  • B Tech degree in Civil Engineering
  • Most of the major educational institutions in South Africa offer these courses. For more information about workshops and short training courses, contact the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Green Opportunities are growing

The SWH opportunity

By the end of December 2010, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) will publish amended national building regulations to make it compulsory for new buildings and upgrades to homes to install solar water heaters (SWHs) and other energy efficiency building requirements.

It is expected that from March 2011 the dti will ensure that legislation is enacted to make it compulsory to install a SWH when an existing geyser is replaced.

Government is keen to fund electricity generation

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has stated that it is keen to fund electricity generation and, since the world is moving towards clean energy generation, solar is one of the IDC’s many clean electricity generation technologies of focus to deliver green jobs throughout the value chain.

All these new regulations not only help our planet, but create wonderful new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

CST is the most promising renewable energy source

Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CST) is viewed as “the most promising renewable- energy generation option in South Africa” and it should receive priority support, even though wind and biomass should also be explored and developed, says the dti.

Biomass is plant material, either raw or processed, and includes agricultural residues, wood waste, paper trash, municipal solid waste (MSW), energy crops and methane captured from landfill sites. The problem is that the capital cost for building a biomass power plant is high.

Think out the box

Many expected Government to provide the financial support to make renewable energy into a viable business, but it has limited budgets. Financiers see renewable energy as a high-risk investment, so entrepreneurs have to think out the box to get new projects up and running.

Venture capital specialists and angel investors are possible alternative routes to consider when looking for funding. Venture Capitalists and angel investors are more likely to take risks. Venture capitalists are always willing and able to invest money in young and early stage companies. Angel investors are wealthy individuals seeking to invest their own money in early stage companies.

Speak to experts

The dti could also be a useful organisation to consult with, as it is heavily involved in the renewable energy industry. If you have specific projects talk to Mainstream Renewable Power SA. Its core business is to develop, build and operate wind energy, solar thermal and ocean current plants by collaborating with governments, power companies, developers and investors across South Africa, Europe, North America and South America.

Speak to energy efficiency networking associations such as The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE). Besides networking, they run renewable energy training courses including Introduction to Energy Management (IEMT), Certified Energy Auditor Course, Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) and Certified Energy Manager Course (CEM). Organisations such as the SAEE, attract organisations and funders that would be interested in innovative ideas with in the renewable energy industry.

South Africa is very green conscious

South African rose to prominence last year when President Jacob Zuma agreed to bold emissions targets for South Africa. The eyes of the world are on South Africa, as it prepares to take over leadership from the Mexican government as the host of the international climate negotiations in 2011.

The Cancun Communiqué is an initiative of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.  South African business leaders have expressed a desire to support Cancun Communique  with more than 25 South African companies have endorsed the Communiqué, including Santam, SAPPI, Group Five, Allied Electronics Corporation, Nedbank and Vodacom.

For more information:

Heritage Environmental Company

Eco Consulting

Business Enterprises at University of Pretoria

Green Earth Consulting

Department of Environmental Affairs

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Start-up Industry Specific

How Do I Start A Transport Or Logistics Business?

An all in one guide to starting a transport and logistics business.

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Thinking about starting a transport business?

Forecasts indicate that the demand for freight transport will grow in South Africa by between 200% and 250% over the 15 to 20 years.

Some corridors, (high volume transport routes that connect major centres), such as the corridors between Gauteng and Cape Town (which amount to 50% of all corridor transport) will increase even faster.

The scope in the transport and logistics industry is varied – from a one-man show using a small truck to transport goods and offer services, to a fleet of transport vehicles which travel the length and breadth of South Africa’s roads.

Road transportation includes commuter transport from taxis to bus transportation.

It can be a tough industry and there are many threats facing transport businesses but if you get it right, you can build a successful business.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. How to start your transport and logistics business
  2. How to get funding for your transport business
  3. What are the costs involved
  4. Finding customers and getting transport contracts
  5. Getting onto suppliers lists
  6. Buying trucks and employing drivers
  7. What are the regulations and risks
  8. Where to find guidance to start your business.

Ready to get going? Click the arrow button to learn how to start your own transport business.

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How To Start A Farming Business

Keep these nine points in mind when launching your new farming business.

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Start-up Industry Specific

How Do I Start A Security Company In South Africa?

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both.

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To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (SIRA). There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. It is estimated that the private security industry in South Africa employs over 400 000 individuals.

If you’re looking at starting a security guard company in South Africa, the following guide will be able to assist you in the deciding if it’s the right decision for you.

You need a lot of capital

Starting a security business requires a good deal of capital outlay and it’s highly recommended that one should have a background in this field.

Decide what kind of company you want to start

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. Each sector falls under its own regulatory body.

What about area competition?

Greg Margolis is the CEO of NYPD Security, a niche security company that has operated for the last five years in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

“To run your own security service company I think that you have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good business person, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing person and know a good deal about the business.

“There’s tough competition, but I love what I do and wouldn’t sell my business even if I was offered triple what its worth. I am passionate about what I do”, says Margolis.

Starting a Security Services Business

To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). This includes paying a registration fee of R2 280 and writing an exam. Once you have passed the exam, proved that you do not have a criminal record, SIRA will conduct an inspection to establish whether or not your business meets the infrastructure requirements. A further fee of R1 710 is charged for the assessment. Each year the business is re-accessed which costs a further R500 plus the annual renewal fee or R520.

The following documentation is required for registration:

  1. An authenticated copy of the CM1, CM2, CM27, CM29, CM31 and CM 46 (apply at Registrar of Companies or Attorneys), if the applicant is a company;
  2. An authenticated copy of the Partnership Agreement if the applicant is a partnership;
  3. An authenticated copy of the trust deed and the letter of authorisation to the trustees from the Master of the High Court if the applicant is a business trust

Related:Steps for Setting the Right Prices for Your Security Business

Also required:

  1. The Suretyship form (SIRA 4) to be signed by the natural person who has taken full responsibility of the security business
  2. Every director, member, partner (as the case may be) applying for registration as a security business must have successfully completed, at a training establishment accredited in terms of law, at least, the training courses Grade E to B
  3. An authenticated copy of the Tax Clearance Certificate from the South African Revenue Service (SARS)
  4. An authenticated copy of the VAT Registration Number from SARS.
  5. An authenticated copy of the PAYE number from SARS
  6. An authenticated copy of the COID number (Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases) from the Department of Labour
  7. Sufficient information in writing to enable the Authority to ascertain that the applicant security business meets the requirements with regard to the infrastructure and capacity necessary to render a security service;

This include, inter alia, the following:

  1. Submit a business plan to the Authority including the location and activities
  2. A resolution by the applicant security business stating that it will be able to operate for the next year
  3. The applicant proves that it has an administrative office that is accessible to the inspectors of the SIRA
  4. The applicant must have equipment which is necessary for the management and administration of the security business, e.g. fixed telephone, fax machine, a hard copy or electronic filing system for the orderly keeping of all records and documentation
  5. Show that the affairs of the applicant security business are managed and controlled by appropriately experienced, trained and skilled persons
  6. The applicant security business has at its disposal a sufficient number of registered and appropriately trained and skilled security officers for the rendering of a security service for which it has contracted or is likely to contract
  7. The security officers must be properly controlled and supervised
  8. The applicant security officer has at its disposal sufficient and adequately skilled administrative staff members for the administration of the affairs of the applicant
  9. The business must have has all the necessary equipment, including vehicles,  uniforms, clothing and equipment that must be issued to its security officers
  10. The applicant security business is in lawful possession of the firearms and other weapons that are necessary offer security services in respect of which it has contracted.

Related: Get going with a One Page Business Plan

Landing contracts

security-contract

The most important thing you can do to start and operate your own business is to develop a good business plan.

It’s invaluable because the business plan forces you to come to terms with your business. Selling the business concept seems to the problem, said Margolis. These are his five tips that will help to get the business going.

“The security industry in South Africa is very competitive. You have to get out there and you have to keep knocking on doors, there isn’t an easy solution”, explains Margolis.

Top Tips

1. Look at your business plan and decide if you have a competitive advantage. If not, work out how you can make the market understand the unique value your small business has to offer.

2. It is important to make yourself known. It isn’t difficult or expensive to increase awareness about the business. Attend ratepayer meetings, spend time at the local police stations, and attend meetings the police have with residents and businesses in the area. This way people get to know you and respect you and half the battle is won. Networking is the way to go.

3. It’s my experience that bigger companies are reluctant to give security contracts to a company that is a one-man show. Make sure that you have a structure in place. Clients need to know if something happens to you, the business will not fall apart, and the services they have paid for and you have agreed to supply, will not cease. Clients need to understand that besides experience, that you are credible and that all the checks and balances are in place. This must be one of the key selling points.

4. Consider taking on a partner. Choose a partner who has the attributes that you lack. The ideal partner would be one with strong links and contacts in the community that you want to work with. Let your partner control the selling side while you handle areas you’re strong in, such as expertise and service delivery. The other option is to employ sales staff.

5. Stay abreast of new trends in the field, and update your skills. This is something that I strongly believe in. You have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good businessperson, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing and sales manager and know a good deal about the neighbourhoods you work.

 

Are you new to starting a business? Read 15 Things Every Newbie Needs to Know About Starting a Business

Security products

What are the requirements to start a security product supplier business?

If you are starting a security company that sells electronic alarm systems and other security products it’s wise to become a member of SAIDSA in order to provide your business with the credibility it needs to be taken seriously by the public and security service providers.

The objective of SAIDSA is to upgrade the quality and standards of electronic security and to protect the public from unscrupulous, “fly-by-night” operators. When a security system is purchased, an ongoing relationship is entered into between the purchaser and the security service company concerned.

The security service product supplier must have the infrastructure and the required expertise to support the relationship continuously.

Security Sector Regulatory Bodies

The security industry has established a number of bodies to regulate itself. Membership in these bodies is voluntary. They include:

Ready to get going? Here’s 10 Steps to Start Your Business For Free (Almost)

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