Running a small business goes hand-in-hand with being kept awake at night, worrying about big issues and their consequences on the market and business operations. However, the biggest challenges tend to be magnified by the messages in the media. Rarely has this been as dramatic as in small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners’ reactions to the announcement of ‘Day Zero’ in Cape Town, according to a research report released today.
The SME Survey 2018 shows that before the December holidays, just 8% of SMEs indicated that they were concerned about water shortages. But when the Survey resumed after the holidays, and in the wake of the announcement by the Cape Town city council that taps would actually run dry on a specific date, SME anxiety around the severe lack of water jumped to 44%. It was clear that the announcement sent a massive shock through the South African business world.
Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx and principal analyst of SME Survey, says, “It is quite astonishing to note the difference between the point when everyone knew there was a drought and the actual drawing of a line in the sand by local authorities in announcing a date when water would run out. This clearly had a massive impact on SME owners’ equanimity. Obviously, when looked at regionally, water shortage fears are less prominent in provinces like Gauteng (15%) and KwaZulu-Natal (9%), but it leaped to 71% in the Western Cape, raising the national average significantly.
“While it has become clear over the years that regional factors do affect SMEs, the biggest concerns about the broader business environment are structural. This is why, in the past, we have – for example – seen concerns raised around construction for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which caused massive traffic disruption, as well huge anxiety about load shedding a decade ago. While predominantly a regional issue, we can say that water shortages are the load shedding of 2018.”
The number one concern for small business decision-makers, in the broader business environment, is still the competition (46%), closely followed by water shortages. The third biggest fear, one which has dropped significantly from previous iterations of the Survey, was crime, which only 16% of SMEs noted keeps them awake at night.
“In the same vein, fraud and corruption also feature, but not as heavily as one might expect”, says Goldstuck. He points out that only 11% of SMEs said they were kept awake by corruption, while just 8% were concerned about fraud.
“On the other hand, when asked if they were aware of corruption in their particular industry, one in four – 25% – stated that they were. However, only 10% claimed to have had to deal with it directly.”
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“It is also worth noting the difference in perceptions prior to the ANC Elective Conference in December and those post-conference. Prior to the conference, 23% of SMEs stated they were aware of corruption in their sector, while 28% said they were aware of it post-conference. This could be attributed to the large-scale unravelling of state capture that has occurred since the beginning of 2018. A similar, but positive, trend was seen with corruption keeping them awake at night: pre-conference, 14% were worried about corruption, but after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected ANC president, the level of concern dropped to just 7%.”
Goldstuck adds that a similar path can be traced for fears about fraud, with 11% being kept awake by this concern before the elective conference, while only 5% named it as a worry in 2018. There can be no doubt, he states, that these results again demonstrate the importance of media coverage around, and exposure of, corruption and fraud.
“Of course, there are also internal fears that keep SME owners awake at night, and the number one concern about their businesses remains cash flow, with 39% of respondents anxious about this issue. A close second is the headache related to finding the right staff (34%).
President Ramaphosa To Address SA’s Biggest Board Meeting, The Directors Event
President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering a keynote address at The Directors event on 8 June 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at South Africa’s biggest board meeting, The Directors Event, which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018. Dr Jabu Mabuza, Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa will deliver this year’s Chairman’s Report.
Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event invites industry leaders to unpack three issues of national importance and discuss solutions in a public forum, moderated by highly-respected media personalities.
Youth employment & entrepreneurship, the use of technology to promote inclusive growth, and our political economy will be hot topics in this year’s highly focussed discussion programme which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 ‘board member’ delegates.
“We are honoured to have President Ramaphosa address this important gathering of some of the top minds in South Africa. We invited him as a response to the call he made during his maiden State of the Nation Address earlier this year, calling on all South Africans, in their small corners, to help develop this country. We believe, strongly, that corporate South Africa has a massive role to play and we are very excited that everyone seems to have accepted the President Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” call,” says Bongani Siqoko, editor of the Sunday Times.
Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer of MMI, the JSE listed holding company for Momentum, Metropolitan and other financial services providers says, “We are incredibly honoured and excited that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Biggest Board Meeting. Over the past few months, we have experienced a wave of change in the country that has brought with it much needed confidence in what we can achieve. As a company with deep roots in South Africa serving a broad spectrum of citizens and businesses, we are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges. We are saying #CountUsIn, we want to be there. We believe this platform creates a space where we can have constructive dialogue and come up with concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the state our country”.
President Ramaphosa will be the highest ranking government official to address The Directors Event with his keynote message. Previous keynote speakers at The Directors Event have included Caroline Galvan (Lead Economist & Editor: Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (Former Deputy Minister of Finance).
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science & Technology, and Enoch Godongwana, Chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation will also be representing the perspectives of Government and the governing party during the round-table discussions at this year’s event.
The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and non-profit organisations who are serious about turning South Africa’s socio-economic crisis around.
The Directors Event will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018. To view the 2018 agenda, speaker profiles, or to book tickets: www.thedirectorsevent.co.za
The Start-up Hatchery And Greater Tygerberg Partnership Launch Innovative Pitch Competition For Bellville Solutions
Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018.
The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and start-up incubator The Startup Hatchery are launching a pitching competition to surface innovative ideas that, when implemented, could lead to the improvement of Bellville in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. The winning idea will receive a package of business incubation, mentorship, business development support, marketing and branding collateral, legal and intellectual property advice and other prizes, including R5 000 cash.
Launching on 14 May 2018, Innovate Bellville 2.0 is open to new businesses that have been operating for six months or less, who are developing new innovative ideas that could improve public transport, create jobs, create inclusive public spaces, address homelessness, improve health and wellbeing, manage waste, facilitate mobility, attract and retain investment and regenerate the Bellville urban centre.
Innovate Bellville 2.0 forms part of the GTP’s living lab approach to the regeneration of the Bellville CBD, says Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP: “We want Bellville to be a test-bed for new ideas that can help us to build a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive city region. Innovate Bellville 2.0 falls directly into that approach. We’re looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge, and seeing the winning idea implemented in a part of our city that stands on the edge of an exciting future.”
“Innovation starts anywhere,” says Tania Cunningham, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for The Startup Hatchery, “but we were very excited at the prospect of focusing on finding innovative ideas that could bring about real change to a defined geographical area. Innovate Bellville 2.0 will offer the winning business a solid start in life, with a chance to see their idea become a reality in Bellville.”
Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected from the WhatsApp pitches, who will each receive training and a pitch deck. From that group, a group of eight finalists will then be selected and invited to pitch their ideas to judges during a pitch event on 7 June.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Silulo Business Incubation Is Changing The Future Of Entrepreneurs
Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs.
Launched in April 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs to grow not only their businesses but also their confidence in the business space. The Incubation offers office space, boardrooms, training and conference rooms as well as eighteen shared office space for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town.
Founder and Director, Mr Luvuyo Rani says: “We have always had a vision for this type of centre – a one-stop-shop where all entrepreneurial needs are catered for but our problem was always funding. With hard-work and dedication, we were able to make our vision a reality, which is exactly what we want to teach and instil for our entrepreneurs.”
The incubation will also offer networking sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs twice a month for two hours. This idea is to offer business insights as well as networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town. Entrepreneurs will have the option to become members of the SBI Network where they are able to attend networking sessions of their choice. All networking sessions will cover different topics and training manuals will be offered after each session.
“The main challenge when it comes to this type of business is infrastructure and funding. Silulo is a pioneer and it can go anywhere, there are no boundaries in business. This is a flagship store. We want to replicate this in every province. Silulo’s success lies in partnerships and our business has a passion for empowering.”
Rani, a former teacher, together with his brother Lonwabo Rani started selling computers from the boot of a car more than ten years ago. Silulo Technologies now has 42 branches in three provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal and 22 franchise stores, some of which are owned by former Silulo employees.
Director and Co-founder, Lonwabo Rani says: “My brother always tells us to think about the bigger picture. It was that bigger picture that kept us going. Back in 2006, what you see today is exactly how it was when we envisioned it.”
In 2017 Silulo reached a total of 35 000 students trained since inception. It trained 65 students through MIC SETA in both the Eastern and Western Cape.
Rani and his two directors remodelled the business in 2017 by offering a walk in cellphone repair service (including the service of leading brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei) at one of the Silulo branches in Khayelitsha.
Rani, who was part of the Team South Africa to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 2018, has received numerous accolades for his social impact business.
He was also awarded a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016 among his many accolades.
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