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QuickBooks Mompreneurs Inspiring Entries

QuickBooks is looking to recognise and celebrate South Africa’s Mompreneurs with the QuickBooks/Entrepreneur Magazine and Saturday Star Mompreneur Competition.

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Just six weeks in to the QuickBooks/Entrepreneur Magazine and Saturday Star Mompreneur Competition and already inspiring entries are streaming in from entrepreneurial moms all over South Africa.

The initiative to run this competition was inspired by the recognition of QuickBooks and their partners that entrepreneurial Moms are being recognised as a powerhouse in the South African economy and should be celebrated.

Related: Do You Consider Yourself A Mompreneur?

The entries received to date include Mom’s like Dhillshaad Adams, who has taken the leap to from corporate to start Legal Help, a company that specialises in Property, Leasing, Contracts, Mediation and Labour Law to Lona Mnguni, a single mother of two that lost her corporate job and decided to brave the entrepreneurial world in an effort to have more time to spend time with her boys.

Lona Mnguni, a mom to two boys started Gracenet Logistics, a business that provides courier services to the local, national and international market with a specialised rural area and township distribution service for medication and schoolbooks. Lona also volunteers at an enterprise development centre where they work with interns in developing future entrepreneurs.

Another entry is Lara Mare van Niekerk, her entry stated, “Quite honestly I don’t believe I’ve done anything better, or more, than the next mom. We all try hard to be role models for our children and leave a legacy and the way I’ve done that is by trying every single day to make just one life better”.

Lara Mare is a strategy consultant but in the hours outside work has developed (with a chef friend) and launched Rush, which strives to be responsible for healing SA by offering an array of free-from, raw, proudly SA wholefoods.

Samantha Watt

Samantha Watt

Samantha Watt is the founder and owner of Watt Communications, a single mother of two girls, her company provides communication services to technology brands,

“Everyday I am proving that it is possible to be all things to all people. I am showing my girls that we are capable of anything and that nothing is impossible.”

“I make enough money, have healthy and happy girls, who know their power. Women remain underestimated and I will continue to defy the odds and show everyone that it is these same women that are the backbone for everyone”.

Zaheera Bayat is a mother to 3 children and owner of Style & Image Studio, she spends her days juggling homework and school projects with boardroom meetings, designing plus-sized garments and seeing to clients. In between starting up a brand new style studio, she writes for a magazine and newspaper with the vision that all women may be empowered. “I live with the vision to create mega change and sustainability within my community for women & child empowerment through beauty and emotional well being”.

Related: 5 Books for Women Entrepreneurs

Our next entrant, Chaan Small, specialises in Vertical Farming and is a single mom of three children (one of whom is deaf). She left her job and decided to start her own business, Organigro, a vertical farming business providing fresh fodder for animals.

Being a mother to two boys, Vanessa Barry had the courage to follow and pursue her dreams and not let inexperience and fear stop her from doing what she loves. In 2013, Vanessa opened a baby boutique and shortly after began creating her own boys-only clothing line, Urban Raccoon – inspired by her own two boys – which she now supplies to other independent baby boutiques and to the public via her online store.

Commented Vanessa, “Being a mompreneur is challenging, the chaos and exhaustion is real, some days everything feels out of balance but I have learnt that if you love what you do your passion will never fail!

Serijke Grobler is no stranger to adversity, she was born with Muscular Dystrophy and has spent her live overcoming her condition. She has a 3-year old boy, Levi and has just started her own business in April 2016. She finished writing her autobiography, “That’s life, it starts with you” in April 2016 and it will be published in July 2016.

An achiever qualified in Human Movement Science and Results Coaching, she is also a Personal Trainer and a professional life and business coach. Serijke’s new venture offers service delivery to people at home and work for their convenience. A one stop shop for all services needed to make life easier and allow people to have more time to spend with their families. Some of the services offered include, Mobile Eco friendly waterless car wash, carpet washing and spring cleaning, dog washing/training and walking, child care/house sitting and afternoon pick-ups for children.

Related: Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs

The QuickBooks/Entrepreneur/Saturday Star Mompreneur Competition runs until the 9th August with the winner being announced in the month of August – Women’s Month. Over and above the accolade of receiving the title of Mompreneur of the Year, the winner will receive the following prize:

  • QuickBooks Accountant valued at R7 000
  • eZ Bank Download software
  • 1 laptop computer valued at R10 000
  • A full page feature in Entrepreneur Magazine on the Winner and the runner up (Valued at R49 300)
  • An UBUNTU Strategic Analysis of their business as well as a Business
  • Builder Programme with 12 Modules to implement changes – R50 000
  • UBUNTU two hour consultation on how to grow their business – valued at R15 000
  • Southern African Institute of Business Accountants – SAIBA – A week’s training in set-up management and bookkeeping
  • 1 year subscription to The Star/Saturday Star
  • Coverage in the Saturday Star for their business
  • Full Membership at the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) for 1 year, sponsored by QuickBooks.

QuickBooks and Entrepreneur’s Mompreneur Competition is a way of acknowledging and celebrating women who have started businesses and taken on entrepreneurial challenges in order to try and balance having a family while still contributing to the household income. If this is you or you know someone who fits the bill, enter now at  www.quickbooks.co.za/mompreneur.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Entrepreneur Today

Future Proofing Children In The Western Cape

Through entrepreneurial education.

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The education system in South Africa is responsible for preparing children to build successful lives.  They should be prepared for the wide range of possibilities that lie ahead of them. There are many who believe that entrepreneurship is a trait that you are born with and that it can’t be taught.  This is simply not true.

Most schools nowadays teach Business Studies, Business Management or Economics to students. The sad reality though, is that while this subject does indeed focus on the ins and outs of starting and managing a business, it does not teach our ambitious young children and teenagers what it really means to be an entrepreneur. It does not teach them which of their personality traits and characteristics they should be aiming to hone in on. They don’t learn about the experiences and failures of ‘first hand’ entrepreneurs – all our coaches are entrepreneurs themselves and running their own businesses, with some success and some failure – who believe it or not, not all performed actually well at school!  Or how to look for problems as opportunities and that a business can be made from doing this.

Related: Plan My Wedding Share 5 Fantastic Tips To Win Over The Shark Tank

Recently myself, Jason Newmark (Co-founder and director of Future Proof Western Cape) & lead coach Lana Sinclair, spent 3 days in the Bredasdorp community of the Western Cape, with children between the ages of 9 and 11, from 5 disadvantaged schools attending, under the initiative of NGO organisation, Education Connection and Managing Director, Marius Stolz, introduced the children to the 4-lesson initiative that we at Future Proof have been rolling out around the country.

One of the core focuses of the 4 lessons, is how children can start identifying problems that surround them and the opportunities it can lead to, by starting a business and getting paid to do it.  The second lesson focuses and helps these children to create a one page business model canvas that kids are able to put their ideas down and more importantly something they can implement immediately when they go back to their communities.  On the canvas the children are put into groups, where they discuss and identify which problem/opportunity they are going to implement, and they write it down on the middle of the page.  The page is then divided into 4 quadrants – Customers, Stuff, Tell People and price.

The children are then demonstrated through activities, and real life experiences and knowledge of how to firstly find customers.  This exercise is done by hanging apples in trees (low hanging fruit) in various locations.  Children are then told to try and get as many as possible and then return to the meeting area.

Once all apples have been collected children are then asked: ‘Why did they go for the apples that they did?’  There are usually a whole host of various answers, but the end answer they usually come to is ‘ they went for the quickest and easiest apples’.  The activity learning outcome is then show to them, that they need to think of apples as your customers, you need to always try get to the quickest and easiest customers, not the ones far away or that are hard to get to and you need to be faster than anyone else! And that the first thing you need to start a business is a customer! If you cant find customers first, then you cant run a business. Children are then asked to write down who there ‘apples’ are for their problem and opportunity they are using as their business idea. The kids are then guided through the other 3 quadrants on what ‘stuff’ (inventory) they will need, how they will ‘tell people’ (marketing) and what price they will charge for their business.

Related: 6 Steps To Grow A Funding Ready Start-up

Its incredible the ideas the kids come up with and the little lightbulbs that go off once this lesson is over and they know how to actually start a business. The concepts we show them are taught in Harvard Business school, yet when broken down into their simplest form, children are able to easily understand them – its incredibly inspiring and more importantly effective and these kids now have this tool to use to start a business and how to start looking at problems as opportunities and what to do when they identify them’

All 4 lessons are activity based, where kids are shown to ‘think’ like entrepreneurs, how to start a business, cashflow & mentors/networks.  With these tools, skills and real life experiences given to them from the entrepreneurial coaches that teach these lessons, shows how easy it can be to get these concepts and learnings into children behaviours while they are still young and can learn to fail and succeed from a young age, and more importantly how to maintain the right mindset (lesson 1) to be able to deal with these failures as they go through life.  A stark contrast to teachers teaching Business Studies and economics?  Isn’t this something all children in South Africa need to be learning?

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More South Africans Choosing EB-5 Investment Visa For US Immigration

Demand by South Africans for EB-5 Investment visa grows to 500% over past three years.

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Families from around the world have gained permanent residency in the United States through the EB-5 investor green card program.  With the South African economy entering its first recession since 2009 and the value of the Rand falling 20% in 2018, more and more South Africans are seeking alternate permanent residency in foreign countries.

Industry data reveals that South African demand for this program is the highest it has ever been, with a 486% increase in the number of EB-5 petitions filed by South Africans over the past three years.  This huge growth in demand is the highest among European, Middle East, and African countries.

“Most EB-5 investors are seeking opportunities for their families and children in the US that offer excellent education, career, and quality of life options,” said Bernard Wolfsdorf, former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association who grew up in Durban and immigrated 40 years ago.

The EB-5 program requires an “at risk” investment of $500,000 into a project that creates 10 full-time jobs for Americans. This provides investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) permanent residence in the US. As a job creation program with an immigration benefit, the EB-5 program has brought in billions of FDI over the past decade and has helped created tens of thousands of jobs for US workers.

However, time may be running out for South Africans to take advantage of the EB-5 visa program at the current investment levels, as proposals to increase the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $1,350,000 have been pending since January 2017, waiting for final implementation. These changes could occur as early as December 7, 2018, the date that the budget for the US federal government was extended to last week by President Trump.

Related: How I Run An International Business From A Remote Beach Town In The Eastern Cape

Below are 5 things to consider about the EB-5 program.

1. What are the benefits of a green card?

A green card allows one to live, work, and study in the United States permanently. In contrast to other work sponsored green cards, the EB-5 provides the maximum career flexibility immediately upon arrival in the US. Children who receive green cards with their parents are able to apply to universities on the same footing as American citizens, rather than as foreign students. They often qualify for lower in-state tuition at public universities and have an easier time finding a job after graduation. Green card holders become eligible for citizenship 5 years after becoming a permanent resident.

2. Who is my immigration attorney?

Not all US immigration attorneys specialise in preparing EB-5 green card applications.  It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through each step of the EB-5 process.  Investors should also work with an immigration attorney who only represents their interests – not the interests of the EB-5 project.  This ensures there is no conflict of interest.

3. What project should I invest in?

Most EB-5 investments are in real estate development projects, but there are many different projects on the market to choose. Investors must conduct thorough due diligence on the project and should consult their financial advisors before choosing an EB-5 investment. Investors must feel confident that the US company will be able to execute its business plan and create the jobs needed to support EB-5 petitions. Additionally, the U.S. company should have a clear exit   strategy in place to ensure that EB-5 investors are repaid their capital investment at the appropriate time.

4. What do I need to prepare?

Investors must document the lawful source of their $500,000 investment.  An immigration attorney will help strategise the required documentation. This usually includes tax returns, bank statements, employment records, and property records. Investors should consult an experienced international tax advisor to discuss how US green card status can affect tax liability, and determine the appropriate tax strategy.

Related: Opening An International Business In SA – Renny Letswalo Shares Her Story

5. When do I have to move to the US?

Based on current processing times, it takes approximately two and a half years for an EB-5 applicant to receive a green card.  Once a green card is issued, lawful permanent residents are expected to make the US their primary residence, but they retain the ability to travel freely outside of the US, and special travel documents can be obtained if longer absences are required.

As South Africa has become a reasonably-sized market for EB-5 investment, more “Regional Centres” will be marketing their EB-5 investment projects in the coming year, further increasing the number of immigrant investors from South Africa.

Attorney Robert Blanco will be in South Africa from November 13-19. If you would like to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss the EB-5 visa option, please contact him at rblanco@wolfsdorf.com.

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Old Mutual Committed To Empowering South African Entrepreneurs

South African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to take their venture to the next level will get a chance to network with big business – such as the likes of Old Mutual – at Global Entrepreneurship Week, currently running from 12 – 16 November 2018 at the Enterprise Room in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week is an annual celebration of the innovators and job creators, who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and social inclusivity.

According to the Banking Association of South Africa, SMEs have been identified as productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa, as well as globally. Some researchers have estimated that the local SME sector makes up 91% of formalised businesses. The sector also provides employment to an estimated 60% of the labour force and accounts for around 34% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in total economic output.

Old Mutual has been actively working to empower SMEs for more than a decade through structured programmes and vehicles designed to provide both the financial – and non-financial – support that is critical for success. This focus on creating both business and societal value means that the company continues to invest in creating opportunities for all South Africans.

The company’s innovative Enterprise and Supplier Development Fund works to create opportunities for small businesses to become integrated into Old Mutual’s supply chain, creating sustainable partnerships of mutual benefit. In addition, Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund offers SMEs operating in the manufacturing, franchising and agricultural arenas a mix of grants, loans and technical support, to enable them to gain vital market access and create jobs.

Collectively, these two small business empowerment funds have approved over R750-million in funding to small businesses across the country, having already disbursed close to R600-million, while creating more than 8330 job opportunities in the process.

Related: 10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing

Old Mutual recognises that funding alone is not the key catalyst for growth where SME development is concerned, which is why it also offers a range of non-financial support option to SMEs both pre and post investment. This includes SME training in financial education, as well as business support in the form of technical mentorship, financial management tools and advice, as well as bespoke accounting services.

Old Mutual will be hosting a special session at Global Entrepreneurship Week on Wednesday 14 November 2018 titled “Doing Business with Old Mutual” at which SMEs looking to connect with the company can get more information on its unique empowerment and development programmes.

Entrepreneurs can get more information on Old Mutual’s small business empowerment programmes here:

Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme:

Supplierdevelopment@oldmutual.com or 011 217 1000

Masisizane Fund:

Via the Old Mutual Website at www.oldmutual.co.za/masisizane

Email: MasisizaneEnquiries@oldmutual.com or call 011 217 1000

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