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Young Techpreneur Awarded For Wow-Factor

The competition aims to encourage, assist and inspire South Africa’s youth to start their own businesses as a means to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate by promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career choice.

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Innovative techpreneur, Khomotso Malakalaka, was announced as the national winner of the 2018 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs – a competition that saw 800 young aspiring entrepreneurs attend business planning workshops across the country to equip them with the necessary skills and tools to turn their business idea into a reality.

The competition aims to encourage, assist and inspire South Africa’s youth to start their own businesses as a means to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate by promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career choice.

However, according to Petro Bothma, Enterprise Development Manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who was speaking at the awards ceremony held this morning in Johannesburg, in order to do this, it is crucial that aspiring entrepreneurs be taught the essentials of starting a business, such as developing a business plan.

“This year, the competition saw an increase of entrants, especially from the country’s smaller cities, which is testament to entrepreneurship becoming a more popular career path throughout South Africa and not just in the larger metros,” says Bothma.

“It is for this reason that 11 regional winners were chosen as opposed to the usual eight – with the exceptionally high calibre of the submitted business plans following the workshops, it was an extremely tough competition to judge.”

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

Malakalaka was awarded the national prize for her business plan for her Polokwane-based online grocery shopping and delivery start-up, The GoodGrocer, which ultimately exuded the ‘wow-factor’, explains Bothma. “The GoodGrocer will offer services that take advantage of the growing customer demand for e-commerce by providing a convenient and high-quality service, whilst taking into account its customers’ lifestyle needs and catering to the essential requirement of hassle-free, easy, and convenient online grocery shopping.

“The business plan submitted by Malakalaka was an outstanding representation of her start-up, showing great attention to detail and ultimately, the viability of the business. Set to begin trading in 2019, Malakalaka ensured that all her bases are covered and that the foundation for her business is in place. This, combined with her passion and her enthusiasm all played a role in her win,” says Bothma.

When selecting the national winner, the judges consider the quality of the business plan, the level of innovation, viability of the business concept, entrepreneurial ability and whether the aspiring entrepreneur is in fact ready to become a business owner in terms of their leadership skills and suitability to mentorship.

For being crowned the national winner of the 2018 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs, Malakalaka will receive R25 000 in seed capital for her business, a mentorship voucher valued at R12 000, a smart tablet and goodie bag.

Now in its ninth year, Bothma says that the competition continues to be a great journey and that she looks forward to working with South Africa’s youth each year.

“The younger generation is filled with such passion, enthusiasm and hope, and our aim remains to continually support and channel this passion in order to help them to make their dreams a reality through the competition.”

Related: Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs

Below is the list of all the 2018 regional winners; each won a mentorship voucher valued at R6 000: 

Ayanda Jiyane – Hair Reconstructioners (KwaZulu-Natal)

At present, Jiyane has been operating out of her home or by traveling to her clients’ homes. However, once Hair Reconstructioners has been more formally established, it will offer a variety of hair services, including braids, twists, freehand, hair relaxing, hair treatments, hair washing, and weaves. Additionally, within three years of operation, Jiyane aims to add a spa to the business’s model, as well as start a mobile salon. 

Frans Mpholo – Orange Berry ICT solutions (Free State):

Orange Berry ICT solutions is an internet café business which, once established in Kroonstad, will provide fast, reliable, and cost-effective internet access and services in the community; sell reasonably-priced, high-quality computer peripherals; increase the number of computer users in the area; provide locally- and internationally-recognised skills and training services; and attain and maintain a strong business presence in the province. 

Lucky Shabalala – Entertainment Neighborhood (Johannesburg):

Entertainment Neighborhood provides the use of video gaming facilities at R10 per hour to individuals from low-income households in the townships of Vereeniging. Shabalala started the company by using his personal gaming console which he set up outside a local hair salon. Today, Entertainment Neighborhood consists of eight PlayStation 4 consoles, eight UHD TVs, and 32 video games.

Moloko Goodwill and Michael Manaswe – PUREPONICS AQUAPONICS (North West):

Aquaponics is a sustainable agricultural practice combining hydroponics (the growing of plants in water) with aquaculture (the farming of aquatic organisms). Through this practice, Goodwill and Manaswe aim for PUREPONICS AQUAPONICS to produce and supply affordable, organic fish and vegetables to restaurants, supermarkets, grocers, schools, and other health- and eco-conscious institutions and consumers. 

Nyaniseka Mxinwa and Noluthando Yolanda Funani – Buyel’mbo Innovative Services (East London):

Founded in 2016, and based in East London, the company’s services include the supply of processed timber to commercial clients, local retailers, and events coordinators, as well as the supply of untreated poles to various clients in the bigger Eastern Cape region.

Puseletso Patience Phoku – Panache Entertainment Agency (Mpumalanga)

Established in 2015 and based in Mbombela, Panache Entertainment Agency’s primary services include the recruitment and job placements of models, as well as establishing partnerships with marketing companies and sales representatives of local and international brands requiring brand activation services and promotions.

Shaidat Aroyewun – 1in Town (Port Elizabeth)

At present, Aroyewun designs and manufactures small clothing orders for family and friends. However, once the business is established, 1in Town will stock and supply a variety of fabrics and material designs to designers and tailors in Port Elizabeth and surrounds. The company will also design and make clothing for children aged 10 and lower, unique and custom-made burkas for Muslim women, as well as various types of caps. 

Siphelo Sikolisi, Thembile Ndlondlo, Khululwe Tintelo, and Mphindeleli Qalazive – AutoPrecision Engineering (Western Cape)

AutoPrecision Engineering will largely be owner-operated and managed, with each of the owners being responsible for various business operations including marketing and sales, occupational health and safety, project management and machinery maintenance, as well as administrative functions. Once established, AutoPrecision Engineering’s services will include cylinder head reconditioning, cylinder reboring, crankshaft grinding, and cylinder head skimming, among others.

Takalani Magoro and Maemu Tshivhase – Sky Base Projects (Pretoria)

The concept for their company is to offer three main services: low-cost home staging (rearranging the property’s existing furniture), de-cluttering (removing unnecessary items from the property), and cleaning, which includes garden maintenance. Although based in Pretoria East, Sky Base Projects will cater to customers throughout Gauteng.

Thatho Maleka – Smart TKT (TKT BrowLash Boutique) (Northern Cape):

Founded in 2018, the TKT BrowLash Boutique is situated in Magojaneng Village in Kuruman, and is positioned to provide modern women of all ages with reasonably-priced, convenient eyebrow and eyelash services, including micro-blading. In addition to these services, Maleka’s boutique also sells retail beauty care products.

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Global Guide For Entrepreneurs, Innovators Launches In Johannesburg

Startup Guide partners with SAP Next-Gen, Tshimologong Precinct to bring global guidebook to Johannesburg innovation ecosystem; calls for nominations.

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Calling all entrepreneurs, accelerators, innovators, co-working spaces and experts in the City of Gold: Startup Guide, the leading global guide for start-ups in high-growth innovation hubs in Europe, the US and Middle East, is open to nominations in Johannesburg.

Founded in 2014, Startup Guide is a creative content and publishing company that produces guidebooks and tools to help entrepreneurs to connect to communities and resources in the leading start-up cities around the world. Its global footprint covers some of the most innovative and thriving start-up ecosystems in the US, Europe and the Middle East, including those of London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Stockholm. After launching in Cape Town earlier in the year, Startup Guide now moves to Johannesburg.

According to Sissel Hansen, Founder and CEO of Startup Guide, South Africa’s largest city is emerging as a key innovation hub for start-ups.

“Johannesburg has recently emerged as a growing ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs in Africa, particularly in the tech industry. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to create a comprehensive guide of resources for aspiring founders wanting to do business in South Africa’s largest city.”

Startup Guide Johannesburg was launched at Wits University’s Tshimologong Precinct, one of Johannesburg’s newest high-tech addresses in the vibrant inner-city district of Braamfontein. Tshimologong, which means “new beginnings” in Setswana, focuses on the incubation of digital entrepreneurs, commercialisation of research and the development of high-level digital skills for students, working professionals and unemployed youth. Lesley Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Precinct, says: “South Africa is fast-becoming a go-to source for innovation, especially in the tech sector. We believe the introduction of a dedicated resource for the startup ecosystem in Johannesburg will unlock significant opportunities for innovation hubs such as ours to more easily connect with entrepreneurs, experts and other roleplayers, ultimately providing a more supportive environment for growth.”

Related: Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

Startup Guide has partnered with SAP Next-Gen, a purpose driven innovation university and community for the SAP ecosystem enabling companies, partners and universities to connect and innovate with purpose linked to the UN Sustainable Goals for Development. Ann Rosenberg, Senior Vice President and Head of Global SAP Next-Gen says:

“We strive to connect digital innovators in an open innovation community to drive the future success and growth of industries through the use of technology. As we have witnessed in other high-innovation cities around the world, the introduction of knowledge resources – supported by opportunities for collaboration and partnership in an open ecosystem – enhances the overall success of entire start-up communities. Johannesburg’s world-famous energy and business acumen will greatly benefit from the launch of Startup Guide Johannesburg and the support of industry partners, including SAP Next-Gen and the Tshimologong Precinct.”

Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa, adds that the partnership with Startup Guide aligns well with the company’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “As an organisation we are committed to achieving the high ambitions set out by the SDGs. However, it is virtually impossible to do so alone: the concept of partnership with likeminded purpose-driven organisations and initiatives is vital not only to realising the SDGs but to foster a greater and more inclusive innovation ecosystem in Johannesburg and across the African continent.”

Nominations for the Johannesburg edition of Startup Guide are now open. If you know a start-up, entrepreneur, programme, space, accelerator, or experts and would like to see them featured in the book, please visit https://startupguide.com/shop/startup-guide-johannesburg and submit your nomination.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

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Aspirations For SMMEs In South Africa

Research released earlier this year, revealed that there are only 250 000 formal SMMEs in South Africa.

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Entrepreneurs who have started up a business over the past 10 years have done so in an environment that has been largely negative, with slow economic growth and an unstable political landscape. “So, all in all, a very difficult setting to launch, grow or even maintain a business,” says Bizmod MD, Anne-Marie Pretorius.

Pretorius says that many entrepreneurs who operate in South Africa can be forgiven for often wondering if the slog is worth it. Yet they continue – despite economic uncertainty, strikes, retrenchments and downscaling.  “It is this tenacity that sets entrepreneurs apart, and I often wonder how much more successful they would be in an easier and more supportive environment.”

Below, Pretorius shares her ideal pro-entrepreneur outlook for the future:

  • Greater policy certainty on all key government policies from land reform to regulations surrounding labour broking.
  • Being able to do away with bad policy faster. An example of where this did not happen was in the changes of visa requirements; leading to an unnecessary dent in our tourism industry, an industry that should be targeted for growth.
  • Lower compliance requirements for companies with a turnover under R50 million. The cost of compliance for smaller enterprises is significantly higher in comparison to their income and the cash they have available. Smaller companies need simpler frameworks where compliance is required. A portal similar to SARS e-filing, which makes compliance across various pieces of legislation clear and simple, would be ideal.
  • The Labour Relations Act is a key piece of legislation that has done a lot to protect the rights of the employee. It has attempted to balance the power relationship between employee and employer. Some innovation is however required in labour practices, allowing for mutually beneficial flexible working relationships that keep pace with the changing work environment.
  • Buy small, buy South African! A framework whereby large corporations and government would have to allocate a certain minimum percentage to buying from smaller local companies. There are encouraging signs that this is happening more, however this is still not an ingrained practice. In addition, consumers should be more informed on what items are South African produced, in order for them to be encouraged to purchase locally.
  • Easier access to funds enabling entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. There are currently a few options available, but all of the options require significant governance and red tape. Whilst this is understandable from the lenders perspective, it does hamper the agility and growth of companies.
  • Make good financial governance aspirational, attractive and easily accessible.
  • The process for tenders to be corruption free and fair, enabling more companies to add value.
  • Pay SMME’s on 30 days or less. Enormous pressure exists on smaller companies when not paid on time. They simply do not have the cash flow to carry a debtor’s book of 90 days and this inevitably hampers their growth.
  • Tax SMME’s at a lower tax rate. Profit tax should be lowered in order to drive entrepreneurship.
  • Creating a platform that makes it simpler to employ young individuals with potential and create support programmes for SMMEs to upskill them. There is a significant financial and time investment required to train a young person, which can make SMME’s sometimes wary to do so.

“If we are able to make only some of these ideals a reality, there is no doubt that we would see economic growth, entrepreneurial growth, and more employment opportunities,” concludes Pretorius.

Related: A – Z Easy Small Business Ideas

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South African Students Win R50 000 In The Universities Business Challenge

Students from Mangosuthu University of Technology beat 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa.

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The Overlings from Mangosuthu University of Technology are the 2018 winners of Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE). The winning team of four students are walking away with R50,000 to turn their business idea into reality.

Launched in July this year, the UBC has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition designed to develop entrepreneurship skills.

When the competition launched, all teams were challenged to form virtual companies and to virtually manufacture and sell bicycles.

The final 10 teams were from the University of Limpopo, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal and North-West University.

During the two-day final, the teams played six rounds of simulations. Each simulation gave the teams a chance to re-evaluate their progress and better certain areas that needed improving. The winning team realised during one of their simulations that in order to maximise profits they would need to introduce two new products and market it differently from their initial product. They paid special attention to their customer’s needs. 

The aim of the UBC was designed to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.

Nkosinathi Sokhulu from the winning team said, “Even though we didn’t have a great presentation we made the most profit. This experience taught us a lot about ourselves and business. Most of the decisions that we made came from serious debates. We learnt that market research is crucial when starting a business. We learnt that marketing starts and ends with the customer.”

Related: 20 South African Side-Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

“Based on this market research information we realised that it was important for us to introduce two new products and this, in addition to the main product we were selling, helped us to maximise profits. We saw an opportunity to add more products and it paid off” said Mbali Tshozi.

Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory said, “All the teams showed tremendous promise and I was very impressed by their levels of engagement with one another and their tenacity.”

“We really want to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to not only start a business but to run it effectively. While we have selected one winner, our hope is that each team has benefitted by having learned the skills needed in the workplace.”

“The competition is designed to develop the ‘soft skills’ that are important for those wanting to set up their own business or simply be successful at work. With rising unemployment and ongoing talent shortages, having these skills is crucial for those wanting to get a job.”

The UBC, now in its second year in South Africa, will continue into its third year in 2019 and will run as the Africa Enterprise Challenge (AEC).

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