With the Rand/Dollar exchange rate reaching a record high for the first time in five years, economists continue to emphasize that the South African economy is not out of the woods yet. We look at how small enterprises are going to be affected this year.
A common issue raised among local entrepreneurs is the ease of access to business finance, which is often criticised due to the difficulties experienced when attempting to secure funding to either establish, or grow, a business. The reality is that there is money available for entrepreneurs with the right idea.
One of the biggest challenges facing South Africa at the moment is the question of how to foster an entrepreneurial culture amongst the youth. Unfortunately much of the teaching that takes place in schools and support initiatives is very theoretical in nature and doesn’t capture the realities of being an entrepreneur.
A few years ago, the sound of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) resonated loudly and was the showcase of ‘many business opportunities’ or ’a rapid move up the corporate ladder’. The excitement after university was irrepressible; just the thought of having the red carpet rolled out because I was ‘previously disadvantaged’ and, therefore, qualified for special treatment, made me ever grateful for being black. Over the years, however, the excitement faded, and I began to question whether I really benefited from all the perks of the BEE policy.
Financial planning for business owners can be a complicated affair, and with so many balls to juggle in the day-to-day running of a venture, it is easy to neglect this crucial aspect of ensuring future success. Insurance is one of the aspects most often overlooked – internal research conducted by Sanlam has shown that two thirds of South African business owners do not have basic business insurance.
Once again retail giant Woolworths finds itself in a battle with an entrepreneur who tried to supply them with a product. I’m not going to debate the merits of the claims by Euodia Roets but I think there is an easy way for Woolies to get in front of this and (by their own calculation) create more than R1bn in opportunities for South African entrepreneurs.