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Youngsters Step Up To Tech Entrepreneurship

Now in its fifth successive year, the Primestars Step Up 2 A Start Up programme continues to expose thousands of young South Africans to vital lessons in entrepreneurship.

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Each year the programme builds on global trends in entrepreneurship and seeks to inspire participants to explore these trends in the context of their surroundings, looking for business solutions to real problems in their communities. To date, the programme has reached nearly 65,000 learners nationwide.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution in full swing, technology-based businesses will provide solutions to many of these problems, creating unprecedented opportunities on which youth can capitalise. As such, the theme chosen for this year’s Step Up 2 A Start Up programme is “Think Tech. Do Business”, encouraging learners to embrace technology as a platform for small business creation.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, the internet of things, augmented reality, virtual reality and more, are creating new industries, products, services and occupations at an extraordinary rate. While the industrial era offered a world of work that was largely predictable, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has ushered in an era of massive interconnectedness and boundless potential.

“Standard Bank is committed to entrepreneurship and we promote it among the Youth through exposing them to relevant financial skills that can turn their ‘hustle’ to commercial value and get them closer to their Next. The partnership with Step Up to A Start Up and Prime Stars Marketing complements the current Standard Bank ‘My Fearless Next’ campaign and our long-standing support of small businesses” said Thulani Sibeko, Chief Marketing Officer.

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

“Sasol has once again come on-board as a national sponsor of the annual Step Up 2 A Start-Up initiative, aimed at providing secondary school learners with the right tools to become entrepreneurs. Sasol is supporting the programme for the fifth consecutive year. The theme for this year’s Step Up 2 A Start-Up is “Think Tech. Do Business”. High school learners will be challenges to come up with innovative ideas that speak to the theme and also recognise the era that we are in, which is that of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” said Abey Tau, Corporate Affairs, Sasol Social Investment.

Online platforms are improving how supply meets demand, digital machines are overcoming their past limitations and excelling beyond human capabilities and companies are outsourcing key aspects of business at much lower costs. As the cornerstone of this year’s Step Up 2 A Start Up programme, learners will be exposed to how technology lowers the barriers of entry, levels the playing field and enables start-ups to compete in an age of increasing automation.

“Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is a proud partner of the Step Up 2A Start Up initiative.  Our involvement is based on a firm belief that this programme nurtures a culture of entrepreneurship among school learners from townships and rural areas. The programme is exposing them early to entrepreneurship attributes required to successfully venture into business. School learners also get a chance to start small enterprises and get to be exposed earlier to available support from Seda and other institutions.  We are mindful that these businesses will also face risks, some will fail, some will succeed and certainly, all learners that pass through this programme will remain potential and intentional entrepreneurs.  The lean methodology approach which is followed is an extremely practical, effective and fun for learners”- CEO of Seda Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba.

“We are always happy to support initiatives that assist in creating sustainable enterprises that contribute to community upliftment and job creation. We also believe that this begins with our youth as our business leaders of the future. We are encouraged that our support of the Step Up to a Start Up programme will help to unearth some amazingly talented young innovators, who will go on to build sustainable businesses and industries in line with our national aspirations of creating home grown industrialists,” says Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager, MTN SA Foundation.

Sustainable economic development is only possible through small business development and new venture creation, and South African youth must be groomed to lead this charge. This is the sentiment expressed at the programme launched by Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, highlighting how youth can harness their digital future to build start-ups that will solve problems in their communities and the world at large. International businessman, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad and longtime advocate for the Step Up 2 A Start Up programme, Mr. Robert Kiyosaki, reinforced the need to develop entrepreneurial skills at a young age.

Related: Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs

From the 18th of August to the 8th of September 2018, learners in Grades 9 – 11 will begin their journey into the world of tech entrepreneurship at one of 14 Ster Kinekor cinemas nationwide. Here they will enjoy a custom produced educational movie titled …, the story of a young lady who discovers technology, designs a business and changes her future and the future of her community. In addition, the lessons learnt in the movie will be reinforced through a Toolkit given to each participant. The Toolkit will assist the learners to implement the skills learnt and will allow them to develop their own business ideas and models.

As the Step Up 2 A Start Up programme enters its second phase, learners will be given the opportunity to compete in an entrepreneurial competition by submitting their business model canvasses for assessment and adjudication by a panel of industry professionals and sponsors. During this process, at least nine top business models will be identified and the teams responsible will be invited to attend a boot camp in Johannesburg. This boot camp will hone and polish participants’ skills as they start to think more about developing and starting their businesses based on the ideas they submitted. The boot camp concludes with a prestigious Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony.

Primestars believes that given the right assistance from passionate individuals and organisations, our youth will be able to create and develop new businesses, which in turn will have a positive impact on the economy and reduce the rate of youth unemployment in South Africa. We need to help our young people  realise that there are infinite possibilities available to them.

Organisations interested in supporting this initiative may contact Primestars Marketing.

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Top Sectors For SMEs In 2019

“As such, SMEs in the construction, communications and electrical fields are all likely to benefit from supply and sub-contracting agreements over the coming years.”

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While the South African economy has been underperforming for a number of years, the first positive signs of turnaround started to become visible by the second quarter of 2018, and by the end of the third quarter, data supplied by Statistics South Africa showed that the economy had indeed grown by 2.2 percent, compared to the previous quarter. This uptick is expected to have a positive effect on business confidence in 2019.

This is according to Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that certain business sectors have already seen an increase in opportunities for small businesses and start-ups.

“While these sectors will not be without challenges, the following four industries are likely to offer the best opportunities for small and medium enterprise (SME) owners to grow their enterprises in the coming year.”

Tourism

The World Travel and Tourism report 2018, revealed that the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to South Africa’s GDP has been projected to rise from R136bn in 2016 to R197.9bn by 2028 – set to make up a total of 3.3 percent of the country’s total GDP, says Lang.

“Although this sector experienced some setbacks in 2018, such as the drought in the Western Cape and stricter visa regulations for children entering the country, both the water restrictions and visa regulations  have been relaxed and the sector is once again poised for growth,” he says.

Related: Government Funding And Grants For Small Businesses

Manufacturing

Statistics South Africa has credited this industry with being the biggest driver of growth in the country’s GDP, having expanded by 7.5 percent in September 2018, says Lang. “To bolster this, Government has made a concerted effort to stimulate small business growth in this area with initiatives such as the Black Industrialist Programme and the SA Automotive Masterplan.”

He adds that businesses in the manufacturing sphere could therefore likely see significant opportunities in the form of outsourcing contracts and new partnerships with large corporates.

Agriculture

“The debate around land expropriation has occupied most of the discussions surrounding the agricultural sector in 2018, with some questioning growth prospects of this sector. However, this industry has a lot of growth ahead of it, as demonstrated by its 6.5 percent growth over the last three months of 2018,” explains Lang.

“Further to this, the industry is also already taking significant advantage of seven climatic regions in South Africa, with the export of a wide variety of high quality fruit and vegetables increasing substantially,” he points out. The recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease that has resulted in the suspension of the country’s FMD-free status will however significantly impact meat exporters.

In terms of opportunities for SMEs, he says that these may most likely be found in the rural and underdeveloped regions, where the need for resources like efficient transport, state-of-the-art cold storage, better irrigation and private power generation will be key to making agriculture projects more productive and competitive in the export market.

Data and information technology

Connectivity and information technology infrastructure are both crucial to business and employment growth in South Africa, says Lang.

“With many municipalities and the Western Cape government committing to providing all of its residents with free data as part of a plan to expand public Wi-Fi network access, it is clear that this is also becoming a high priority on a state level.” 

Related: 9 Ways To Elevate Your Small Business To The Next Level

It has also been reported that South Africa is awaiting the arrival of three international data centres, and large players in the communications sphere, including Vodacom, Telkom and Vumatel, are making huge strides in drastically growing the country’s fibre optic backbone, he adds. “As such, SMEs in the construction, communications and electrical fields are all likely to benefit from supply and sub-contracting agreements over the coming years.”

In conclusion, Lang says that as South Africa’s economic growth has started to turn around, business owners should keep their ears to the ground as 2019 is highly likely to be a year of opportunity.

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Herman Mashaba To Talk On City Of Jo’burg Job Creation Initiative

Herman Mashaba to talk on City of Jo’burg job creation initiative at 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit.

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Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Herman Mashaba, will be one of the presenters at the 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit which will be taking place at The Empire Venue in Parktown on 7 March 2019.
Now in its third year, the Business Day TV SME Summit provides an opportunity for small business owners, entrepreneurs, incubators, franchisors, investors, as well as suppliers to the SME sector to come together and engage with experts in the business, technology, marketing and investment fields.
Having founded the now iconic hair-care brand, Black Like Me, more than thirty years ago during the apartheid era and on the back of a R30,000 loan from a friend, Mashaba’s experience in establishing an entrepreneurial enterprise holds great value for small and medium-sized business owners in South Africa. Mashaba will also be highlighting the City of Johannesburg’s innovative drive to stimulate inner city opportunities and job creation.
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Managing finances and obtaining funding and expansion capital are challenges many entrepreneurial businesses face as they look to grow their footprint in the market. Darren Segal, Personal and Business Banking Innovation executive at Standard Bank – one of the partners of the SME Summit – will present advice on negotiating funding and finance, to ensure effective cash flow management.
Complex tax issues will also be covered by a representative from the office of the Tax Ombudsman.
Taryn Westoby, Head of Tiso Blackstar Events which manages the SME Summit and curates the speaker line-up says: “We work alongside Business Day TV to meet the requirements of those engaged in the SME sector, so that the content of the Summit aligns to some of their most pressing concerns and needs. The line-up of speakers includes experts in the fields of business scaling, marketing strategy, intellectual property (IP) rights, and risk mitigation.”
As such, Graham Mitchell from GROW has been engaged to share insights into the leadership required to scale a winning management team.  Vishen Pillay, partner at Adams & Adams and an authority on copyright, patents, and trademarks, will provide guidance on protecting IP. Therusha Bhagarette of Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation of Africa Ltd will expound further on the do’s and don’ts of risk management. The full line-up of expert speakers and topics will be published on www.smesummit.co.za.

International perspective

An international perspective to entrepreneurship will also be provided through Business Day TV’s The Big Small Business Show and a pre-recorded session with Uri Levine: renowned serial entrepreneur and founder of Waze.  Levine was recently in South Africa as a guest of Tiso Blackstar to deliver the keynote presentation at the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards to an audience of CEOs from the top-performing companies on the JSE.

Leading organisations at the SME Summit

Once again, leading organisations have committed their participation at the Business Day TV SME Summit, recognising it as one of the most effective platforms for SMEs to engage professional insights and facilitate knowledge-sharing in support of much needed entrepreneurial development in SA.
This year’s headline partners are Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation of Africa Limited, SAICA, and Standard Bank. Other partners include BDO, Adams & Adams, Liberty, Payfast, GROW, The Tax Ombudsman, W&R Seta, Telkom, Santam and The Little Green Number.
For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities:  Stephen Horszowski – stephen@tisoblackstar.co.za
Delegates who wish to purchase tickets for the full day event (07h00 – 15h00) at R995:  Lucy Johnson – johnsonl@tisoblackstar.co.za or visit  www.smesummit.co.za

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SME Insurance Checklist For New Year

Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers, advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies.

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Business owners who are planning for the year ahead should not overlook the importance of reviewing their insurance policies to ensure they are adequately covered against insurable risks.

Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says, every year businesses face unique challenges ranging from credit and market risks, technological disruptions, compliance, operational and regulatory risks, amongst others. As a matter of precaution, insurance policies should at least be reviewed or updated once a year.

He advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies:

  • Employee movements – if there are any employees who have left or joined the company, ensure that your policy is updated accordingly.

This type of cover normally depends on the role and contribution of the employee to the business. For instance, directors may be covered for Key Person Insurance and Directors & Officers Liability insurance.

  • Protest Actions – this year is the national election year and leading up to elections we can expect to see an increase in the frequency and severity of protest actions, riots and strikes. Thus, it is essential to ensure that adequate special risks cover is in place from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA).

SASRIA provides cover to both individuals and businesses against special risks like civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism at affordable premiums.

  • Cyber risks – it is essential to communicate with your insurer or broker and find out if there are any new risks that your business should be protected against. Cyber incidents continue to be a major risk for businesses especially in the SME sector. Over the last couple of years there has been a major increase in the number of reported cyber incidences.

Related: I would like to start an insurance business. What are the basic guidelines?

More businesses are now facing increased cyber threats due to their increased dependency on technology, relating to their internal and customer data being compromised by fraudsters. It is therefore essential to have some form of cyber risk insurance cover and/or enhancement of data security protocols.

  • Regulatory changes – every year there are a number of regulatory changes that impact businesses directly or indirectly, which may result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.
  • Natural catastrophes – the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions, coupled with intensifying natural catastrophes will continue to have a significant impact on businesses.

Businesses should ensure they are adequately protected against these risks to avoid incurring sever financial losses.

  • Business changes – should a business consider moving to a new location, purchasing new premises or venture into new business activities, these types of changes could have a major impact on its risks profile. As a result, the policy needs to be updated accordingly.
  • New and Enhanced products – An innovative culture has taken over the insurance industry and ever so often we see the introduction of new products or the enhancement of existing products. Get in touch with you broker to advise you on any new products that might add value to your existing insurance portfolio.

“Reviewing your policy regularly gives you peace of mind knowing that you can focus on running your business effectively, without worrying about unforeseen risks,” concludes Maupa.

Related: Insurance For Small Businesses: What Should Be Covered?

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