This month we ask if entrepreneurs are doing there part in improving SA's development, we offer six ways to improve your business budgeting, and we meet our latest square pegs Hilda de Vroom and Gigi Demetriou.
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Are entrepreneurs doing their part in South Africa's development?

When a quarrelsome bunch like economists agree on something, one can be pretty certain of its universal truth. There are few topics that generate such consensus among economists as the importance of entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to economic development, says David Morobe, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS).

Morobe uses the terms “entrepreneur” and “SME” interchangeably. He says although entrepreneurial types can be found in large corporations and even in government, it is in small and medium businesses that they come into their own, and are able to give full expression to their innovative urges and energy.

The belief in their economic potency has spread so widely that often SMEs are seen as a kind of a cure-all for the problem of unemployment, says Morobe. It is an oversimplification that perhaps stems from the fact that people don't generally understand why or how they contribute to economic development.


Six ways to improve your business budgeting

At the best of times, budgeting is one of the most important habits that separates thriving business owners from the mass of plodders and stragglers. When times are tough, the ability to budget becomes a matter of survival.

Jeremy Lang, regional general manager of Business Partners Limited, offers six tips on better budgeting that will help business owners survive the straitened times ahead:

1. Get your budget out of your head and onto paper:

While many business owners keep themselves going through informal gut-feel budgeting, they don't realise how hobbled they are. The certainty that comes with a formal budgeting process leads to better and faster decision making, faster growth, and much greater chances of survival.

March 2016 / Vol.7.3


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

Accidental entrepreneur finds huge market, and her life's mission

Entrepreneurs are often depicted as people with a strong vision, knowing exactly what they want, and even how to get there. Hilda de Vroom is living proof that there is actually only one certainty about entrepreneurs – that they are very difficult to pin down into a single category.

Although she says that she does “not have a commercial bone” in her body, it is clear that De Vroom is highly entrepreneurial. With no experience of running a business, in fact with no prior formal work experience, she bought a crèche with 72 children and over nine years has developed it into a primary school and a high school with altogether 450 children, a staff complement of 72 and an international curriculum. She is currently building a technical school as well as a specialised facility for remedial teaching.


Entrepreneurial leaps of faith look scarier in hindsight

One of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, tobacco mogul Anton Rupert, famously said that if he really knew at the beginning the risks that lay ahead, he would never have started his enterprise.

Rivonia-based business owner Gigi Demetriou can testify to the fact that also for small business owners their leaps of faith look scarier in hindsight than they it did at the time.

When Demetriou took over 4 Dunton Exclusive Guest House (now known as Dunton Guest House)  in Rivonia four years ago it looked like a no-brainer. The deal had everything going for it – Demetriou had more than twenty years' experience in the property industry, and knew that it was a bargain. The founder of the guest house had run into financial trouble due to health reasons and the property was about to be liquidated.

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
Industrial Park
Location: 289 Grahamstown Road, Deal Party, Port Elizabeth
The park is located within 15 minutes of the Coega IDZ, 20 minutes drive from the PE CBD and within 1km of the N2 off-ramp.

Description: 595m²space available to let (Unit 9), it can be used as warehousing facility or factories. The property has two offices, ablutions, and showers.

Rent: R34/m²

Sharon Lines
041 367 1082
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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