Connect with us

Entrepreneur Today

#SONA2017: Here Is Why Small Businesses Should Care About The SONA

President Jacob Zuma will set the political and economic pace for 2017 when he presents his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week. He and his cabinet have their work cut out this year as they focus on reigniting growth and on socio-economic transformation.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

sona2017-state-of-the-nation-address

Anton van Heerden, Managing Director and Executive Vice-President, Africa & Middle East at Sage comments on what might be covered in this year’s annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week.

President Jacob Zuma will set the political and economic pace for 2017 when he presents his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week. He and his cabinet have their work cut out this year as they focus on reigniting growth and on socio-economic transformation. As always, we at Sage hope that he’ll have a few words for the country’s Small & Medium Businesses.

SONA traditionally outlines the grand vision for South African policy for the year, with the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech later in the month filling in the details about funding and implementation. Nonetheless, we’ll hopefully get some hints about how President Zuma hopes to address the challenges of accelerating economic growth while addressing inequality.

Here are a few areas that might be of interest to business builders:

Small business strategy

We have a diverse community of 2,8 million Small & Medium Businesses in South Africa. According to estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, they account for a contribution to GDP of 52-57% and 60% of employment. As such, they should be in the centre of any government strategy to catalyse growth and address unemployment.

Related: Payroll Tax: 6 Things Small Business Owners Should Know

Last year, the SONA mentioned that government would set aside 30% of appropriate categories of State procurement for purchasing from small businesses, co-operatives as well as township and rural enterprises.

It also promoted funding for youth-owned enterprises through the National Youth Development Agency. With Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu seeking a raise in her annual budget (from R1.4 billion to R5 billion) from the Treasury, President Zuma might talk about new initiatives to boost small, and particularly black-owned, businesses. 

Business and the National Development Plan

national-development-plan-in-south-africa

The SONA might touch on the role of business in creating a more prosperous and equal South Africa. President Zuma might allude to the National Development Plan (NDP), which envisages an important role for small business in job creation and economic growth.

Big business and government have worked closely together in recent months, but small business should ideally also have a seat at the policymaking table.  

The NDP envisages 90% of new employment by 2030 will be generated by SMMEs – critical in a country where more than 50% of the youth are unemployed.

Related: Your Top 10 Growth Moves For 2017

Implementation of a minimum wage

President Zuma’s SONA 2016 mentioned the importance of implementing a minimum wage for South Africa, and it would not be surprising to get more detail this year.

A commission appointed to investigate recommended that the government implement a minimum wage of R3,500 per month and R20 an hour.

We might get some hints about how a minimum wage will be phased in as well as about any special arrangements for vulnerable industries where companies are shedding jobs.

National Health Insurance

National Health Insurance

Government is currently piloting a National Health Insurance scheme, but this year we might get information about how a wider rollout will be funded and implemented. The cost of implementing the National Health Insurance is projected to be R225 billion by 2025.

The impact on small businesses could be significant – they might need to be ready to administer a payroll levy. Alternatively, government might choose to lift VAT or income tax, which will hit consumers in their pockets.

Related: Fedhealth Brings Healthy Benefits to your Staff

Infrastructure investment

A well-managed and sustainable infrastructure investment programme could help boost our competitiveness as a country – businesses of all sizes will benefit from better broadband connections, a more reliable power supply and world-class rail, road and port links.

Some businesses might also be well positioned to win government business if it steps up spending.

Closing words

Despite uncertainty triggered by local and global political and economic events, more than half (54%) of South African Small & Medium Businesses in a recent Sage survey reported that they were confident about their prospects in the next six months.

Our customers in small business sectors make life-sacrifices on which prosperity is built.  They could be the catalyst to job creation and growth, if government heeds their voices.

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Entrepreneur Today

Great Bunch Of Entrepreneurs Make Top 10 In The Workspace/MiWay Competition

The top 10 in The Workspace/MiWay entrepreneur competition have been selected.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

the-workspace-and-miway-competition

After an intense four-month process, the top 10 contenders in The Workspace/MiWay Entrepreneur competition have been notified that they’re through to the next round. These entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to the judges, who will then whittle down the number of contenders to five, from which the winner will be chosen.

“There has been great excitement over the past four months. As every single new entry came in, we would clap our hands and cheer,” said Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace. It was a tough job judging all the entries to reach the top 20 submissions, she said, before having to find the top 10.

“We’ve had really strong entries submitted by people with good business knowledge,” said Schourie. “You can see the willingness to work hard and the great amount of effort they have put into their initiatives.”

Schourie said judges saw “wonderful ideas and fabulous business minds and quality people with big dreams shine through the entries”.

The top 10 are:

  1. Loyal 1
  2. Dwyka Mining Services
  3. Minatlou Trading 251
  4. Sindis Best for all
  5. Convergence Three
  6. Zinde Zinde
  7. Matla Risk Management
  8. Artsort Trading
  9. Iconic Talent Agency
  10. Nthedikgwadi Transport Services

Related: How to Name (Or In Some Cases, Rename) Your Company

Schourie said she wished she could tell President Cyril Ramaphosa, who supports the growth of small business as an economic driver, “the ideas and the passion that these business owners have is inspiring and should be focused on more”.

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.

Morné Stoltz, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay, said the theme that ran throughout the entries was that entrepreneurs wanted to make a difference and contribute to positive change in South Africa. “Many of the submissions focused on technical and developmental fields,” he said.

“Entrepreneurs recognise gaps in the market and see the potential for growth. Getting into the top 10 was not at all easy.”

Stoltz said South Africa had a “great bunch of entrepreneurs” and that standing together to give them a platform to launch was an exciting opportunity. “To grow our economy we need to help with skills development and give whatever assistance we can,” he said.

Part of the finalists’ road to the top includes a skills development programme for the top 10 entrants ahead of their important date to pitch their business plans to the judges.

As Schourie pointed out, it is vital to encourage South African citizens to act on their dreams and passions because “it can be a great success; they just need make that leap”.

Dates to watch:

  • 21 June: Top 10 skills development programme
  • 3 July: Top 10 pitches
  • 6 July: Top 5 announcement
  • 20 July: Final five workshops
  • 10 August: Final five pitches
  • 13 September: Winner announced

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Today

Top 22 Start-ups Chosen For Final Selection Days – Startupbootcamp Africa

After receiving 1,004 applications from all over the world, the SBC team in conjunction with the programme’s corporate sponsors have narrowed the applicants down to 22 top-tier tech start-ups that will be invited to the Final Selection Days on July 11th and 12th at PwC’s headquarters in Cape Town.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

top-22-african-tech-companies

SBC Africa received 1,004 total applications from 77 countries on 5 continents. The start-ups that applied were exceptionally impressive and have gained more traction in the market than the applicants for the 2017 cohort. The talent in Africa is phenomenal and the corporate sponsors and SBC team dedicated 2 weeks to narrow it down to the Top 22 to be invited to Final Selection Days.

“It’s been an intense process due to the exceptionally high calibre of start-ups applying to the programme from across the continent,” states Philip Kiracofe, co-founder and CEO of Startupbootcamp Africa. “From 1,004 applications we have managed to narrow down to 22 of the most creative teams tackling daunting African problems. One of the key differentiators for start-ups that participate in the SBC Accelerator is the opportunity to secure commercial contracts with our sponsors. In order to make it onto our Top 22, each start-up has been chosen by at least 2 sponsors for potential proof of concept projects. The 2018 cohort is already shaping up to be a milestone moment for Africa.”

Related: How to Name (Or In Some Cases, Rename) Your Company

Zachariah George, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Startupbootcamp Africa added, “The investment community across Africa is taking note of the significant traction and access to market that being an alumni of a global accelerator programme like ours provides. We are excited to further galvanize venture capital funding into tech startups through significant de-risking of business models and customer validation with our corporate partners globally.”

From the 22 teams that have been invited to the SBC Africa Final Selection Days, 10 will be selected to join the 2018 cohort. Over the span of the two Final Selection Days, the startups in attendance will have the opportunity to present their pitches to high-profile corporate sponsors, investors, thought leaders and industry experts and will have the chance to sit down with mentors and sponsors alike. At the end of Day Two, the Top 10 will be announced and will be welcomed to the Cape Town-based Accelerator that kicks off in August. During the 3-month period, they will have the opportunity to scale at an incredible pace and seal pilot and proof of concept deals with the corporate sponsors to the programme.

The SBC Africa Accelerator is anchored and endorsed by heavyweight corporate sponsors RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank, Old Mutual and PwC.

“We’ve seen an increase in the quality of start-ups applying to the programme. The awareness of the value of the programme has increased and the success of the first year of the bootcamp speaks for itself. More mature start-ups are also seeing the benefits of participating in Startupbootcamp Africa,” comments Stanley Gabriel, Head of Innovation at Old Mutual.

The Top 22 start-ups invited to the Final Selection Days come from 7 different countries. The numbers are as follows: 8 from Nigeria, 5 from South Africa, 3 from Uganda, 2 from the Ivory Coast, 2 from Kenya, 1 from Ghana and 1 from Ireland.

Related: Entrepreneurship Is All About Overcoming Obstacles

The names of the start-ups invited to Final Selection Days by country:

  • Nigeria: Bankly Technologies, Biyabot, CredPal, FriendsVow, Kudimoney Bank, Medikal HMS, NebulaPay, and ZEEZZ Planet Solutions.
  • South Africa: Brandbookalytics Big Data, ifileme, LÜLA, Prospa, and Akiba Digital
  • Uganda: CoinPesa Ltd, RoundBob Uganda, and Swipe 2 Pay
  • Ivory Coast: Digitech Group, and DISTRICASH
  • Kenya: Kakbima, and MPost
  • Ghana: Inclusive Financial Technologies
  • Ireland: Pago Payments

It has been an incredible 3-month scouting journey for SBC Africa and now that the Top 22 have been announced, the Final Selection Days is the only hurdle left before the Accelerator officially kicks off on 13 August 2018.

There are high expectations for the Top 10 of 2018 and if the quality of the start-ups at this stage is any indication, 2018 is set to be a great success for the African tech and innovation ecosystem.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Today

She Works Hard For Her Money – So Pay Her On Time

Sage research finds that female entrepreneurs suffer more negative effects from late payments than men. Charles Pittaway, Managing Director of Sage Pay, comments on the importance of equal pay for equal work.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

woman-business

Women fight inequality and discrimination every day. They fight for equal pay for equal work. They challenge gender stereotypes in their careers and personal lives. They question unfair social and political norms. They unify under passionate causes, evidenced recently by the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns.

With female business builders making up nearly 40% of the global workforce – and heading up 72% of micro-enterprises and 40% of small enterprises in South Africa – any kind of discrimination is unacceptable from a cultural and economic point of view, especially when it involves failure to pay what is owed.

The impact of late payments on small businesses has been widely discussed as an issue that must be eradicated for all entrepreneurs, regardless of gender. But inequality still exists and more needs to be done to eradicate it.

Recent research by Sage highlights that this discrimination doesn’t just impact women in large corporates. Indeed, it identified a worrying trend: female entrepreneurs are more likely to suffer from late payments than their male counterparts.

South Africa was among the six regions (out of 11) surveyed by Sage that reported higher instances of women business builders being paid late. Businesses run by female entrepreneurs in South Africa report that 18% of invoices are paid late and 10% of invoices are written off as bad debt.

Small businesses cannot absorb these costs nor the lost hours spent on admin – amounting to R564 000 in South Africa. The result can be disastrous: in the next 12 months, 1 in 4 female entrepreneurs will prioritise chasing late payments to be more cost efficient, and ironically will become less productive. If these businesses are not paid on time, they will also struggle to pay bonuses and suppliers, and will be forced to delay investments in their businesses.

Related: Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch

The fact that late or non-payments is a more common occurrence experienced by female entrepreneurs is part of a wider problem. Women report more instances of sexist comments, disregard for their business ambitions and lack of female mentors as significant underlying reasons why there is now a heightened cultural stigma around chasing late payments amongst female entrepreneurs – more so than men.

In South Africa, the stigma extends past culture, with 40% of Small & Medium Businesses failing to follow up on late payments to protect client relationships. Time and resources are also challenges, with 24% of small businesses saying they don’t have a dedicated resource to chase payments and 13% saying they don’t have time.

There is no place for bias in business – all entrepreneurs should be free to pursue their ambitions without suffering the consequences of these cultural barriers that are encountered far too often – regardless of gender.

Now is the time to disrupt and challenge these harmful stereotypes and create a force for good, making sure that small businesses – the engine room of all economies – are paid what they are duly owed for the services they deliver to our economy.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending