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South African Employers Report Cautiously Optimistic Hiring Intentions For Q2 2017

Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be strongest in the TRANSPORT, STORAGE & COMMUNICATIONS sector; and weakest within the MINING & QUARRYING sector. Provincially, employers in the Western Cape report the strongest hiring intentions for the second quarter of the year, while employers within Gauteng report the weakest hiring intentions.

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South African employers report conservative hiring intentions for the coming quarter. Of the 751 employers who participated in the survey, 12% expect to increase staffing levels, 5% forecast a decrease and 81% anticipate no change.

Once the data has been seasonally adjusted, the resulting Net Employment Outlook is +7%. Hiring prospects are unchanged quarter-over-quarter and improve by 2 percentage points year-over-year.

Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director of Manpower SA, provides insights into why South African employers are reporting cautiously optimistic hiring intentions for the April to June time frame:

“As global economic uncertainty continues, many businesses will be more cautious about increasing staffing levels. The majority of local employers said they anticipated no change in their staffing levels for the upcoming quarter, which is a reflection of this economic uncertainty translating into the local employment market,” she says. 

Related: 5 Ways Your Small Business Will Benefit From Hiring Interns

Regional Comparisons

Workforce gains are anticipated in all five regions during 2Q 2017. The strongest labour market is forecast in Western Cape, where employers report a Net Employment Outlook of +14%. Elsewhere, employers report cautiously optimistic Outlooks of +9% in both Free State and KwaZulu Natal, while Outlooks stand at +6% and +4% in Eastern Cape and Gauteng, respectively.

“The Western Capes economy is dominated by the City of Cape Town, which is an extremely popular tourist destination for local and international holiday makers. There is a strong push for development in the tourism sector, as was seen by government’s R100-million investment into building the Plettenberg Bay Airport road, the proposed completion of the N1 road coming into Cape Town, the R832 million expansion currently underway at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the building of the new Zeiss Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa at the V&A Waterfront, as well as the expansion and refurbishments of various new hotels in the city. The tourism sector is the largest employer in the region, employing more than 4000 people with the prospects of more jobs created as the sector continues to grow. This could definitely be a contributing factor to the positive employment outlook in the region,” explains van den Barselaar.

“While Gauteng remains the economic hub of South Africa, employers in the province have registered a conservative outlook of +4% for the second consecutive quarter. Initiatives around economic transformation by the Gauteng provincial government are aimed at stimulating key aspects of the market, which will create opportunities for further employment in the province in the coming quarters. These initiatives are focused on encouraging local manufacturing of goods, support for black-owned firms, and unlocking employment opportunities for all people across the province; as reported in the State of the Province address last month.”

Quarter-over-quarter, hiring intentions are 4 percentage points stronger in KwaZulu Natal and improve by 2 percentage points in Free State. Elsewhere, hiring prospects remain relatively stable in Eastern Cape and Western Cape, while Gauteng employers report no change.

Hiring plans improve by 9 percentage points in Free State and Western Cape when compared with the second quarter of 2016, while a slight increase of 2 percentage points is reported in KwaZulu Natal. However, Gauteng employers report a year-over-year decline of 2 percentage points. 

Related: Hiring Your First Employee? 5 Things You Need To Know

Sector Comparisons

Employers in all 10 industry sectors forecast an increase in payrolls during the upcoming quarter.

Transport, Storage & Communication sector employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook of +15%, while Outlooks stand at +11% in both the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing sector and the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Business Services sector.

Employers in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector report cautiously optimistic hiring plans with an Outlook of +10%, while Outlooks of +9% are reported in both the Electricity, Gas & Water Supply sector and the Restaurants & Hotels sector. Meanwhile, the most cautious Outlook of +1% is reported by Mining & Quarrying sector employers.

“The current push for investment into improving existing and also building new infrastructure, especially that of roads, is a contributing factor to the expected growth in hiring in the Transport, Storage & Communication sector. Another possible contributing factor is the increase in service providers providing last mile Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Business (FTTB), to support the growth of South Africa’s digital transformation and economy at large,” explains van den Barselaar.

Hiring prospects improve in six of the 10 industry sectors when compared with the previous quarter. The most noteworthy increase of 10 percentage points is reported by Transport, Storage & Communication sector employers, while Outlooks are 6 and 5 percentage points stronger for the Construction sector and the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector, respectively. However, hiring plans weaken in four sectors, including the Restaurants & Hotels sector with a decrease of 5 percentage points and the Electricity, Gas & Water Supply sector, where employers report a decline of 4 percentage points.

Year-over-year, Outlooks strengthen in five of the 10 industry sectors, most notably by 13 percentage points in the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing sector. Elsewhere, increases of 12 and 9 percentage points are reported in the Transport, Storage & Communication sector and the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector, respectively. Meanwhile, hiring prospects weaken in three sectors, including the Construction sector and the Mining & Quarrying sector, where employers report decreases of 4 percentage points.

Organisation-Size Comparisons

Participating employers are categorized into one of four organization sizes: Micro businesses have less than 10 employees; Small businesses have 10-49 employees; Medium businesses have 50-249 employees; and Large businesses have 250 or more employees.

Staffing levels are expected to grow in all four organization size categories during 2Q 2017. Large employers report upbeat hiring prospects with a Net Employment Outlook of +18%, while Outlooks stand at +8% and +6% for Medium- and Micro-size employers, respectively. The most cautious Outlook of +3% is reported by Small employers.

Quarter-over-quarter, Micro employers report an improvement of 5 percentage points, but the Outlook for Small firms is 3 percentage points weaker. Elsewhere, Large employers report no change and the Outlook for Medium employers remains relatively stable.

Related: Finding Your Staffing Partner

When compared with this time a year ago, Outlooks improve by 6 percentage points for Micro employers and by 5 percentage points for Large employers, while Medium employers report an increase of 2 percentage points. Meanwhile, Small employers report relatively stable hiring plans.

Globally, second-quarter hiring confidence is strongest in Taiwan, Japan, Slovenia and India. The weakest forecasts are reported in Brazil, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. Hiring plans improve in 17 of 43 countries and territories when compared quarter-over-quarter, decline in 15, and are unchanged in 11. The year-over-year trend reveals a more pronounced uptick with Outlooks strengthening in 25 countries and territories, weakening in 14, and remaining unchanged in three.

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.

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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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