Twenty-one thriving small businesses have graduated from the rigorous two-year incubation programme offered by Property Point as part of the enterprise and supplier development initiatives of South African real estate leaders Growthpoint Properties and Attacq.
Together these successful graduating small and growing businesses have created 1,122 jobs, gained 135 new clients and accessed contracts valued at over R271 million.
The entire property industry stands to benefit from the services of these professional, experienced and innovative businesses, which all offer skills and services for the real estate sector. They are:
- TT Holdings owned by Thapelo Tlhapane
- Arebone Building and Cleaning Enterprise owned by Dwaine Moth
- Kusile Hygiene and Industrial Services owned by Olga and Sifiso Ncube
- Kgoano Infrastructure Solutions owned by Kate Morekhure
- Orizoe Services owned by Orianda Ntsompo
- Lazar Robotics and Welding owned by Ranzel Louw
- Mapitsi Holdings owned by Rahab Matebane
- Imbewenhle Airconditioning and Refrigeration owned by Trueman Myeza
- Koena Engineering and IT Solutions owned by Kagiso Mokoena
- Inzaghi Trading and Projects owned by Clive Mailula
- Mila Cleaning Services owned by Charlotte Khoza and Annemarie Mostert
- Sosha Facilities owned by Rupesh Nath
- Smith and Madisha owned by Alice Madisha
- Ndabendala Trading Enterprise owned by Thulani Mlotshwa
- DVY Properties and Maintenance owned by Vernon Govender
- Nonku Ntshona Associates and Quantity Surveyors owned by Nonkululeko Ntshona
- Thatego Holdings owned by Thabo and Dorcas Malefetse
- Makasela Air owned by Tiyani Khoza
- Twin Cities owned by Chris Ndongeni
- Ndzilo Fire Protection owned by Themba Ndlovu and Henchard Njoni
- TMT Cleaning owned by Mpho and Godfrey Sono.
2018 Marks a decade of impact for Property Point, which has been a driver of transformation and small business growth within the property industry over the 10 years since it was founded by Growthpoint in 2008.
In this time, it has created 2,066 full-time jobs and R865.6 million in procurement opportunities generated for the 130 SMEs that have participated in its two-year incubation programmes. These small businesses have reported 43% growth in revenue.
Shawn Theunissen, head of Property Point and Corporate Social Responsibility at Growthpoint, says: “We are incredibly proud of the achievements of the small businesses in the graduating class of 2018 and we celebrate their fundamental and exceptional growth. Property Point is also delighted to celebrate a decade of impact, during which we have become a leading partnership platform for both public and private participation in enterprise and supplier development for the property sector. From the start of our journey building sustainable small businesses, we have focused on the need to see and measure our impacts. As we say in property, we need to understand what the yield will be for our investment in small business. Just doing something isn’t enough, we want to achieve real growth and impact.”
Property Point’s graduating class of small businesses was celebrated at an inspiring ceremony where keynote speaker, musician and Mi Casa frontman, J Something, who has recently opened a restaurant, launched a book and appeared as a judge on My Kitchen Rules SA, inspired the graduates with the story of his own entrepreneurship journey.
The event was also attended by CEO of Growthpoint South Africa Estienne de Klerk and interim CEO and CFO of Attacq Melt Hamman, and representatives of both companies.
De Klerk, congratulated the entrepreneurs on graduating from the intense Property Point incubation programme. He pointed out that Growthpoint itself started small. In 2001, it owned only nine properties worth R100 million. Today, 17 years later, Growthpoint is the largest South African primary JSE-listed REIT and provides space to thrive in a diversified portfolio of 559 property assets, locally and internationally, with a total value approaching R130 billion.
De Klerk said: “Creating successful entrepreneurs and small businesses is absolutely essential for the success of South Africa. We as business, small and big, need to make a difference. To ensure that our economy moves in the right direction, we need to stand up, be brave, and change the way that we, as South Africans, see our place in the bigger scheme of the economy. We all need to contribute. This is why Growthpoint established Property Point and today its success has exceeded anything we thought possible.”
He added: “To achieve these positive economic impacts, collaboration is imperative, and I thank Attacq for partnering with Property Point. The result of our partnership is significant for small business development, but also for the future direction of the initiative itself. Shawn and I have a dream to roll out this initiative to the entire industry. There is increasing pressure on business to not only do good, but to prove and measure the difference they are making. No programme in the property sector is more successful at doing this than Property Point. It is very relevant for the industry today and, with even more collaboration, Property Point can become a powerful industry initiative.”
Hamman praised the entrepreneurs for the hard work they had put into building their businesses. As a relatively young business itself, Attacq has grown from no employees to 128 in a few years. Hamman believes that success in business is all about people, and how you manage and develop your employees. He encouraged the small businesses to create a community among themselves, their clients and suppliers, and to look after their staff and nurture the career aspirations of their people.
Hamman said: “Transformation is defined as a marked change in form and nature, and that is exactly what has happened in all the graduating businesses. They have experienced a material change in their businesses, the way they operate and their profitability. We are proud to honour these businesses and entrepreneurs. Over the past three years Attacq beneficiaries on the Property Point programme have generated turnover exceeding R112 million. The five businesses graduating from this Attacq enterprise and supplier development programme have created 295 full-time jobs, have produced sales close to R80 million and most of the business have increased their profitability by more than 200%. This is evidence of real transformation.”
He also congratulated Property Point for providing 10 years of excellent service to the property industry. “At Attacq, we believe in supporting small businesses. Property Point has a well-established and proven track record and has made a huge difference to empowerment and transformation in the sector. Collaborating with property leaders like Growthpoint helps us to develop the industry.”
Rewarding excellence, Property Point gave three outstanding graduates and four runners-up a combined R360,000 boost for their businesses – R70,000 for each winner and R50,000 for the runner-up position in each intake.
The top achiever among the five Attacq enterprise and supplier development graduates was TMT Cleaning and the runner-up was Makasela Air.
The top performer of the nine Growthpoint enterprise development graduates was Kusile Hygiene and Industrial Services, and sharing the award for the runner-up position were Arebone Building and Cleaning Enterprise and Kgoane Infrastructure Solutions.
Top out of the the seven Growthpoint supplier development graduates was Mila Cleaning Services, and the runner-up was Ndabendala Trading Enterprise.
In addition, several special awards were given by Property Point for outstanding achievement by the graduating small businesses. The awards were given to Imbewenhle Airconditioning and Refrigeration, Mila Cleaning Services, and Thatego Holdings for brand ambassadorship. TMT Cleaning scooped the innovation award, Koena Engineering and IT Solutions won the wealth creation award and Kusile Hygiene and Industrial Services received the job creation award.
Global Guide For Entrepreneurs, Innovators Launches In Johannesburg
Startup Guide partners with SAP Next-Gen, Tshimologong Precinct to bring global guidebook to Johannesburg innovation ecosystem; calls for nominations.
Calling all entrepreneurs, accelerators, innovators, co-working spaces and experts in the City of Gold: Startup Guide, the leading global guide for start-ups in high-growth innovation hubs in Europe, the US and Middle East, is open to nominations in Johannesburg.
Founded in 2014, Startup Guide is a creative content and publishing company that produces guidebooks and tools to help entrepreneurs to connect to communities and resources in the leading start-up cities around the world. Its global footprint covers some of the most innovative and thriving start-up ecosystems in the US, Europe and the Middle East, including those of London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Stockholm. After launching in Cape Town earlier in the year, Startup Guide now moves to Johannesburg.
According to Sissel Hansen, Founder and CEO of Startup Guide, South Africa’s largest city is emerging as a key innovation hub for start-ups.
“Johannesburg has recently emerged as a growing ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs in Africa, particularly in the tech industry. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to create a comprehensive guide of resources for aspiring founders wanting to do business in South Africa’s largest city.”
Startup Guide Johannesburg was launched at Wits University’s Tshimologong Precinct, one of Johannesburg’s newest high-tech addresses in the vibrant inner-city district of Braamfontein. Tshimologong, which means “new beginnings” in Setswana, focuses on the incubation of digital entrepreneurs, commercialisation of research and the development of high-level digital skills for students, working professionals and unemployed youth. Lesley Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Precinct, says: “South Africa is fast-becoming a go-to source for innovation, especially in the tech sector. We believe the introduction of a dedicated resource for the startup ecosystem in Johannesburg will unlock significant opportunities for innovation hubs such as ours to more easily connect with entrepreneurs, experts and other roleplayers, ultimately providing a more supportive environment for growth.”
Startup Guide has partnered with SAP Next-Gen, a purpose driven innovation university and community for the SAP ecosystem enabling companies, partners and universities to connect and innovate with purpose linked to the UN Sustainable Goals for Development. Ann Rosenberg, Senior Vice President and Head of Global SAP Next-Gen says:
“We strive to connect digital innovators in an open innovation community to drive the future success and growth of industries through the use of technology. As we have witnessed in other high-innovation cities around the world, the introduction of knowledge resources – supported by opportunities for collaboration and partnership in an open ecosystem – enhances the overall success of entire start-up communities. Johannesburg’s world-famous energy and business acumen will greatly benefit from the launch of Startup Guide Johannesburg and the support of industry partners, including SAP Next-Gen and the Tshimologong Precinct.”
Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa, adds that the partnership with Startup Guide aligns well with the company’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “As an organisation we are committed to achieving the high ambitions set out by the SDGs. However, it is virtually impossible to do so alone: the concept of partnership with likeminded purpose-driven organisations and initiatives is vital not only to realising the SDGs but to foster a greater and more inclusive innovation ecosystem in Johannesburg and across the African continent.”
Nominations for the Johannesburg edition of Startup Guide are now open. If you know a start-up, entrepreneur, programme, space, accelerator, or experts and would like to see them featured in the book, please visit https://startupguide.com/shop/startup-guide-johannesburg and submit your nomination.
Aspirations For SMMEs In South Africa
Research released earlier this year, revealed that there are only 250 000 formal SMMEs in South Africa.
Entrepreneurs who have started up a business over the past 10 years have done so in an environment that has been largely negative, with slow economic growth and an unstable political landscape. “So, all in all, a very difficult setting to launch, grow or even maintain a business,” says Bizmod MD, Anne-Marie Pretorius.
Pretorius says that many entrepreneurs who operate in South Africa can be forgiven for often wondering if the slog is worth it. Yet they continue – despite economic uncertainty, strikes, retrenchments and downscaling. “It is this tenacity that sets entrepreneurs apart, and I often wonder how much more successful they would be in an easier and more supportive environment.”
Below, Pretorius shares her ideal pro-entrepreneur outlook for the future:
- Greater policy certainty on all key government policies from land reform to regulations surrounding labour broking.
- Being able to do away with bad policy faster. An example of where this did not happen was in the changes of visa requirements; leading to an unnecessary dent in our tourism industry, an industry that should be targeted for growth.
- Lower compliance requirements for companies with a turnover under R50 million. The cost of compliance for smaller enterprises is significantly higher in comparison to their income and the cash they have available. Smaller companies need simpler frameworks where compliance is required. A portal similar to SARS e-filing, which makes compliance across various pieces of legislation clear and simple, would be ideal.
- The Labour Relations Act is a key piece of legislation that has done a lot to protect the rights of the employee. It has attempted to balance the power relationship between employee and employer. Some innovation is however required in labour practices, allowing for mutually beneficial flexible working relationships that keep pace with the changing work environment.
- Buy small, buy South African! A framework whereby large corporations and government would have to allocate a certain minimum percentage to buying from smaller local companies. There are encouraging signs that this is happening more, however this is still not an ingrained practice. In addition, consumers should be more informed on what items are South African produced, in order for them to be encouraged to purchase locally.
- Easier access to funds enabling entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. There are currently a few options available, but all of the options require significant governance and red tape. Whilst this is understandable from the lenders perspective, it does hamper the agility and growth of companies.
- Make good financial governance aspirational, attractive and easily accessible.
- The process for tenders to be corruption free and fair, enabling more companies to add value.
- Pay SMME’s on 30 days or less. Enormous pressure exists on smaller companies when not paid on time. They simply do not have the cash flow to carry a debtor’s book of 90 days and this inevitably hampers their growth.
- Tax SMME’s at a lower tax rate. Profit tax should be lowered in order to drive entrepreneurship.
- Creating a platform that makes it simpler to employ young individuals with potential and create support programmes for SMMEs to upskill them. There is a significant financial and time investment required to train a young person, which can make SMME’s sometimes wary to do so.
“If we are able to make only some of these ideals a reality, there is no doubt that we would see economic growth, entrepreneurial growth, and more employment opportunities,” concludes Pretorius.
Related: A – Z Easy Small Business Ideas
South African Students Win R50 000 In The Universities Business Challenge
Students from Mangosuthu University of Technology beat 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa.
The Overlings from Mangosuthu University of Technology are the 2018 winners of Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE). The winning team of four students are walking away with R50,000 to turn their business idea into reality.
Launched in July this year, the UBC has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition designed to develop entrepreneurship skills.
When the competition launched, all teams were challenged to form virtual companies and to virtually manufacture and sell bicycles.
The final 10 teams were from the University of Limpopo, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal and North-West University.
During the two-day final, the teams played six rounds of simulations. Each simulation gave the teams a chance to re-evaluate their progress and better certain areas that needed improving. The winning team realised during one of their simulations that in order to maximise profits they would need to introduce two new products and market it differently from their initial product. They paid special attention to their customer’s needs.
The aim of the UBC was designed to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.
Nkosinathi Sokhulu from the winning team said, “Even though we didn’t have a great presentation we made the most profit. This experience taught us a lot about ourselves and business. Most of the decisions that we made came from serious debates. We learnt that market research is crucial when starting a business. We learnt that marketing starts and ends with the customer.”
“Based on this market research information we realised that it was important for us to introduce two new products and this, in addition to the main product we were selling, helped us to maximise profits. We saw an opportunity to add more products and it paid off” said Mbali Tshozi.
Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory said, “All the teams showed tremendous promise and I was very impressed by their levels of engagement with one another and their tenacity.”
“We really want to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to not only start a business but to run it effectively. While we have selected one winner, our hope is that each team has benefitted by having learned the skills needed in the workplace.”
“The competition is designed to develop the ‘soft skills’ that are important for those wanting to set up their own business or simply be successful at work. With rising unemployment and ongoing talent shortages, having these skills is crucial for those wanting to get a job.”
The UBC, now in its second year in South Africa, will continue into its third year in 2019 and will run as the Africa Enterprise Challenge (AEC).
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