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National Cleantech Innovation Winners Announced At Gala Event

Klerksdorp innovator Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry took top honours at the 2016 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) awards ceremony with her water re-use and recycling solution called aWetbox.

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Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry

Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry won the first prize in the 2016 National Cleantech Awards. She also won the award for the most promising woman-led business.

 

Klerksdorp innovator Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry took top honours at the 2016 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) awards ceremony with her water re-use and recycling solution called aWetbox.

She received a cash prize of R120 000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley in the US to compete against top performers of other GCIP programmes from across the world.

Pamela Alborough of SanAqua HCA with a wastewater treatment enhancement and sanitation solution and Martin Ackermann of Thevia with roof tiles made from 99% waste materials were the runners-up. They received R60 000 each as well as a trip to the Cleantech Open Global Forum in Silicon Valley.

Related: Demanding Customers Are The Ones Who Motivate Innovation

Yolandi Schoeman was also named the most promising woman-led team, while the award for the most promising youth-led team went to Sandiswa Qayi of Amahlathi Eco-Tech who developed the Hot Spot for geysers, an innovation that supplies hot water within 30 minutes. They received R20 000 each.

The Innovation for Social Impact award went to Louise Williamson for her fuel-efficient Mashesha syngas stove. She received a cash prize of R10 000.

Delivering the keynote address at the award ceremony in Pretoria last night, Naledi Pandor, minster of Science and Technology, said through its various activities and continuous engagement with stakeholders, the GCIP-SA contributes to the development, promotion and deployment of clean technology innovations.

GCIP-SA finalists

Back: André Reyeneke (Ducere Holdings); Lovell Emslie (Pegasus Engineered Green Mobility); James New (UNIDO); and Aki Anastaciou and Weza Matomane, who were the masters of ceremony.
Middle: Johny Harris (Isidima Design); Corinne Greyling (Coco’s Solutions); Louise Williamson (Sustainability Professionals), winner of the Innovation for Social Impact award; Pam Alborough (SanAqua HCA), a runner-up; and Barlow Manilal (CEO of TIA).
Front: Yolandi Schoeman (Baoberry), overall winner and most promising woman-led business; Sandiswa Qayi (Amahlathi Eco), winner of best youth-led business; minster of science and technology Naledi Pandor; and Martin Ackerman (Thevia), the other runner-up.

“The programme also creates a platform for linking South African entrepreneurs with investors, business and commercial partners, potentially resulting in the commercialisation of new products and services and ultimately job creation.

“This cleantech programme has showcased an innovative nation. Innovation adds momentum to the structural economic change that is needed for economic growth, job creation and an improved quality of life for us all,” she said.

The GCIP-SA is part of a global initiative that aims to identify and support SMEs and start-ups with innovative solutions that can tackle the most pressing energy, environmental and economic challenges facing the planet, focusing on energy efficiency, green building, renewable energy, waste beneficiation and water efficiency. These categories are aligned with the national priorities of each of the seven participating countries.

The GCIP-SA combines a competition and a business accelerator to help de-risk the businesses of participants by offering them extensive mentoring, training, access to investors and opportunities to showcase their innovations to the media and the public. This year there has been an increase in the number of entries from 45 to 88, with energy efficiency dominating the semi-finalists making up 35% of the total. Water efficiency is the next highest, comprising 23% of the total semi-finalists. Of the nine finalists, five were women.

Speaking on behalf of UNIDO Director General Dr Pradeep Monga, James New commended South Africa as an opportune country where technological breakthroughs can create ample platforms of opportunity, either in the form mature or start-up businesses, as well as academia and research institutes for much-needed solutions to the national challenges of achieving sustainable development and creating green employment opportunities.

Related: Howard Blake Stays Hungry With His Innovation Strategy

“Taking into account the importance of job creation and diversity, the role of women and youth in South Africa cannot be overstated and therefore let me celebrate the successes of the female and young entrepreneurs that have been actively involved in the 2016 cycle. Female and young entrepreneurs assist in reducing market barriers in the cleantech industry and are examples of success. We are proud of the diversity and the inter-generational mix of men and women that are developing the cleantech products and services for all provinces of South Africa,” he said.

“The South African Cleantech Programme and UNIDO remain ever committed to find, foster and connect South African innovators, inventers and problem-solvers who have found innovative, practical and commercially viable ways to address these issues.

“All of our 2016 cycle companies will have gained a better understanding of the core principles of becoming a long-term, sustainable, commercial entity and they have received expert advice and tutoring on issues such as legal matters, financial management and investor pitching.  We firmly believe that this better enables our entrepreneurs to meet the challenge in the cleantech space to gain access to the necessary markets, not only in South Africa, but also internationally.”

Legal firm Spoor and Fisher also sponsored R30 000 worth of legal services to Thevia for the best pitch of the evening.

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Entrepreneur Today

Improve Your Cash Flow: Manage Your VAT

Viresh Harduth, Vice President: New Customer Acquisition (Small & Medium Businesses) for Sage Africa & Middle East on the increase in VAT in South Africa and how it affects your business.

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If you went shopping on 1 April, you likely encountered aisles and aisles of products with no price tags as retailers updated their shelf pricing to reflect the new VAT rate. As a consumer, this was probably a slight inconvenience because you didn’t know how much something cost until you had to pay.

Yet, as a small business owner, the VAT increase was more than a slight inconvenience. Not only did you have to update your systems and train your teams but you likely had to spend money printing new price tags and ensuring you were compliant – this was, after all, the biggest tax change in 25 years.

The VAT increase will also impact your cash flow because you will need to pay more money to SARS. But now that the dust has settled, Small & Medium Businesses have an opportunity to review their operations and uncover ways to improve their cash flow and offset the higher VAT payments.

Related: 5 Marketing Missteps That Make Cash Flow And Business Growth Stumble

Here are five ideas to free up cash that are easy to implement and don’t require major changes to your business:

  1. Negotiate extended payment terms with suppliers. When you receive an invoice, you generally have 30 days to pay. Try to negotiate longer payment terms with your suppliers – like 60 days – so that you have cash in the bank for longer.
  2. Enforce your own payment terms for customers. The time between issuing invoices and waiting to get paid is a danger zone for small businesses, especially when you need to pay VAT to SARS. Reduce your payment terms for customers from one month to 14 days, for example, and stick to it. Send regular reminders on overdue accounts and follow up on the phone.
  3. Incentivise customers to pay earlier. Offer various payment methods that make it easier for customers to settle their accounts sooner. Issue invoices promptly and offer discounts for early – and full – payment. This will also increase loyalty.
  4. Reduce stock on hand. If you have surplus stock, it means you haven’t aligned your stock with your sales, which ties up available cash. Stock management is as important as financial management. Knowing what’s in your stock room – and bank account – at all times, is crucial to maximise cash flow.
  5. Work with an accountant. While cloud-based accounting solutions like Sage can help you keep track of your cash flow and stay compliant, an accountant can identify areas to save money and cut costs, freeing up working and investment capital.

Related: Strategies To Help You Stay Out Of The Red With Cash Flow

When you improve your cash flow, you reduce the need to rely on bank overdrafts and loans. The key to the success of any business is to free up as much cash as possible. And, with the VAT increase, you need more cash than you did yesterday.

*Remember, you have until 31 May to reflect the VAT increase in your product and service prices. Until then, you can apply the additional 1% at the till point, as long as you put up signs informing customers that you will be doing this.

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R350 000 Worth Prizes To Help Boost Entrepreneurs’ Businesses

Find out more here.

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Even more prizes to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses have boosted the entrepreneur competition being run by The Workspace and MiWay. These include communications strategy, responsive design website, a share portfolio worth R10 000 and estate planning.

The competition, launched in March to celebrate the collaboration between co-working and serviced office solutions company, The Workspace, and MiWay business insurance, is open to entrepreneurs based in South Africa, who have valid identification documents, who run a business with four or less employees and are making an impact in their industry.

The Workspace and MiWay have joined forces to launch an entrepreneurial hub and business development programme at the newly developed Village Road premises in Selby in Johannesburg’s central business district. MiWay’s presence at Village Road will afford The Workspace members the convenience of having business insurance and a host of other requirements fulfilled at their place of work whenever it suits them.

Entrepreneurship key to SA’s future

Mari Schourie, chief executive officer of The Workspace, says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent SONA reflected on how important small businesses and entrepreneurship is to South Africa’s future.

“I was thrilled that President Ramaphosa recognised how vitally important it is for everyone – business, government and citizens – to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is something that as a company, we’ve made a core part of our business. Being in the co-working and serviced office industry, we work with entrepreneurs and small businesses every day. They are the backbone of our business,” she said.

Schourie emphasised how the company had developed in-house programmes to support them. “When we can utilise their services ourselves, we do. We run workshops and knowledge hubs to encourage ongoing skills development and the joy of learning. We’ve even put some of our entrepreneurs at the centre of our marketing campaigns; we live and breathe the business lives of our entrepreneur members. And we learn from them too.”

Schourie said recognising entrepreneurs and small businesses sometimes means changing our thinking and looking a little bit further than our immediate surroundings. For this reason she believes the entrepreneur competition is so important to help give businesses a leg up.

Related: Register A Company In South Africa

The prizes – worth R350 000

The winning business will not only receive 12 months free office space for up to four people, free Wi-Fi, free phone rental, free business insurance and business advice, as well as all risk equipment insurance, free tea and coffee, free usage of meeting and board rooms, free security and 24-hour access, free parking and a new laptop, but even more valuable business prizes have been added too.

These include a brand new responsive design website and content management system, logo and corporate identity design, SEO and social media set up as well as training in how to keep digital collateral up to date worth R24 500.00 from Webartist.

Opulentus Wealth are offering the winner a bespoke share portfolio for the business worth R10 000, business life stage Risk Assessment, Estate plan for the Directors and shareholders valued at R15 000 per plan, Advice on managing and improving cash flow with the business (R10 000) and Tax advice for the business (R5000) Oxigen Communications will build the company a compelling brand communication strategy as well as offer two strategic sessions worth over R50 000.

 “The entrepreneur competition is a call to action to those vibrant entrepreneurs out there. Start-ups always need a bit of a hand and the winner of this competition will have a serious advantage once the it has gone through its paces,” said Morné Stoltz, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay.

“We are looking for an entrepreneur who has created or is busy creating a special environment where employees can flourish, and in the process, potentially create more jobs. Stoltz adds, “An entrepreneur who makes an impression on the judges due to aspects such as the business’ social impact, attitude, positive entrepreneurial outlook and a good business mind will definitely stand a good chance of walking away with the prize.”.

The prize on offer – worth over R350 000 – will help set-up the winning entrepreneur for a period of 12 months, giving them a boost to help build their business.


Closing date: 15 May 2018

 

For details, click here.

For queries, please email events@theworkspace.co.za

Entries can be uploaded to the website, or delivered to One Chadwick Avenue, Wynberg, Sandton

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Why Is It Important To Grow Manufacturing?

Manufacturing Indaba will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on the 19th and 20th of June, 2018 and will be facilitated with the collaborative backing and strategic partnership of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Manufacturing Circle, a corporate association of manufacturers.

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One of the aspects of the conference will be to focus on South Africa’s manufacturing as a fundamental driver of GDP growth and associated with direct employment, as many services sectors are likely to increase their employment capacity on the basis of an increased GDP.

Newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA 2018) and alluded to addressing the decline over many years of South Africa’s manufacturing capacity, which has deeply affected employment and exports. As a result, poverty levels have risen, economic growth has weakened, with the President stating that it has become imperative to re-industrialise on a scale and at a pace that draws millions of job seekers into the economy. Unemployment levels have risen due to looming investment downgrades; hence he emphasised the need for a focus on local manufacturing and production.

Nicholas Kaldor (Zalk, 2014) developed a set of hypotheses to explain the central role of manufacturing in the process of economic development. He contended that manufacturing reveals a unique characteristic: The capacity to generate ‘dynamic increasing returns’, displaying a positive correlation with GDP growth while other primary and tertiary sectors generally do not. That is, indicating that the faster the rate of growth of output in manufacturing, the faster the rate of growth of both manufacturing and economy-wide productivity (Thirlwall, 1983, as cited in Zalk, 2014). Thus, clarifying that manufacturing is the core driver of GDP growth and employment while other sectors, particularly many services sectors are only likely to grow on the basis of the growing demand derived and resulting from an increasing GDP. Therefore, growth and employment in most services sectors follow rather than lead growth in GDP (Zalk, 2014).

Related: Aluminium Door And Window Manufacturing

In accordance with the vital importance of this sector’s encouraged growth, the President undertook to promote greater investment in key manufacturing sectors through the strategic use of incentives and other measures. Accordingly, and further stimulating manufacturing by forging ahead with the localisation programme, through which products like textile, clothing, furniture, rail rolling stock and water meters will be designated for local procurement. Ramaphosa also reiterated that the country had spent more than R57 billion on locally-produced goods that otherwise might have been imported from other countries.

The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) 2017/18 – 2019/20 report as part of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 outlines sector specific goals and a vision for South Africa to be achieved by the year 2030 and referred to inherent structural challenges within the economy that remain difficult to overcome. These challenges include weak growth and domestic demand reflecting and contributing to persistent unemployment, resulting in unsustainable race and gender-based inequality and rural marginalisation. Value-add in manufacturing lagged behind the economy as a whole from 2008, and investment in manufacturing has declined since the global credit crisis. The IPAP report also indicated that investment as a share of GDP is also below the 25% level required for sustained economic expansion.

In light of this aspect, Ramaphosa at SONA referred to the special economic zones that will remain important instruments that SA will use to attract strategic foreign and domestic direct investment and build targeted industrial capabilities in order to establish new industrial hubs. He also emphasised that the process of industrialisation must be underpinned by transformation, and that through measures like preferential procurement and the black industrialists programme, a new generation of black and women producers will be able to build enterprises of significant scale and capability.

The objective industrial financing and incentive support has played a key role in supporting private sector investment and black economic empowerment in critical industrial areas. Another example and a high point of 2016/7 has been the Automotive Investment Scheme with R8.7bn on investment leveraged through 2 new projects with an estimated investment value of R548.9m, projected to create 1 140 jobs. Included in this buoyant mix is the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) which has reopened a R1bn loan component with 270 projects supported, and R8.24m disbursed thereby supporting R3.38b of investments & 62 2353 jobs.

Related: What steps do I need to take to start manufacturing toilet paper?

Bearing these examples in mind, and Ramaphosa’s affirmation at SONA that, “…at the centre of our national agenda in 2018 is the creation of jobs, especially for the youth”, Philippa Rodseth, executive director, Manufacturing Circle (2016, in The importance of Manufacturing for SA’s economic growth), stated that in order to promote a resilient, sustainable manufacturing environment, three goals were identified in order to secure the long-term sustainability of South Africa’s manufacturing industry.

Hence, these following aspects will ultimately contribute to the economic growth of the country-: the achievement of a competitive manufacturing environment, the attainment of a supportive international trade position and the advancement of the reputation of SA manufactured goods.

These issues and other pertinent topics relating to Manufacturing in South Africa and the continent will be considered, evaluated and debated at the upcoming prestigious Manufacturing Indaba conference in June, in this year of “hope and renewal.”

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