This month we focus on the benefits a mentor can bring to your business, and we meet Eric Cherry and Donovan Denyssen, our latest square pegs.
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Aspiring young SA entrepreneurs celebrated

In the wake of Global Entrepreneurship Week, budding entrepreneur, Lebohang Selloane, has been named the winner of the 2015 Business Partners /SME Toolkit Global Entrepreneurship Week’s Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs at an awards ceremony held in Johannesburg this morning.

Now in its 6th year, the competition seeks to equip passionate and enthusiastic youth with the knowledge to turn their business idea into a reality. Aspiring entrepreneurs – between 18 and 35 – were encouraged to submit their business idea and attend one of nine regional workshops across the country to learn the complexities of compiling a business plan and managing the many functions of running a business. Following this, each young entrepreneur was invited to submit a formal business plan to a judging panel.


Good mentors worth their weight in gold

There is no shortage of business advice in the world. It comes in the form of consultants, coaches, advisors, professors, management gurus and self-help celebrities. Each has its place, but for Christo Botes, executive director of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), there is a special breed of business adviser who are worth their weight in gold: the business mentor.

For Botes, the distinction between a business mentor and other forms of business advisers is subtle, because a mentor can play any number of roles, sometimes that of strategic adviser, technical expert or business consultant, and sometimes all of them at once. But the key characteristics of a mentor has to do with their experience, attitude and approach. They practice the science and the art of business, not merely the science, says Botes.

November 2015 / Vol.6.9


Are you a
square peg?

This quiz is not scientific but serves to highlight some of the key attributes of entrepreneurs or “square pegs”, as we at Business Partners affectionately call them. The quiz should give you some idea on whether you “possess” entrepreneurial qualities, or not. However, please remember that a positive outcome/score is not a recipe for success.

Take the quiz

Mentorship takes strong business to the next level

If you think that business mentorship is only for struggling businesses trying to get out of trouble, consider the experience of Eric Cherry, the owner of Urban Landscape Solutions, based in Montague Gardens in Cape Town.

The landscaping industry, joined at the hip with the construction sector, has been battered by the big freeze on large-scale developments of recent years, yet Cherry's landscaping company and wholesale nursery have survived while many of his competitors crashed.

In fact, Cherry's prowess as a businessman is such that his struggles had always been more about how to grow than about how to survive.


Back from the brink, and ready to grow

A year or two ago, Donovan Denyssen found himself in what he calls a “chicken-and-egg” predicament, one that quite a few business owners would find familiar. He desperately needed new contracts to dig his business out of a debt hole, but (the tax man being one of the debtors) he could only get the new business if he paid off the debt to get a tax clearance certificate.

Worse, Denyssen was in a vicious circle. His refractory business Uniref, which works with the linings of metal furnaces, was so strained that he struggled to concentrate even on what he was good at, let alone on miraculously learning the art of business rescue.
Aldo Park
Location: Greenbushes Industrial Park, Gate 2, Old Cape Road, Port Elizabeth

Description: 598m² space available to let (Unit 9). The unit consists of one garage door with access to factory, an open plan reception, offices, toilets and showers. It includes 24-hour security with electric fencing and guards at access.

Rent:R28 800.00 excl. VAT pm (Prepaid 3 phase power & water charged separately)

Sharon Lines
041 367 1082
154 Church Street
Location: 154 Church Street, Bloemfontein

Description: This 950m² space is ideal for a car dealer or car rental, the premises consists of a wide open area with 2 offices as well as toilet facilities.It also offers pre-paid electricity and water reading per metre

Rent:+/- R 23 p/m² (excl VAT)

Arina de Beer
051 430 9846 / 079 514 7583

Vacant Shop
Location: Langverwacht Road, Kuils River, Cape Town

Description: A 66m² shop is available.

Rent:R10 055, plus R12 000 deposit

Availability: 1 February 2016

Sharon Jacks
021 464 3645

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