This month we look at role South African play in stimulating entrepreneurship; we offer some financial tips for business owners in hard times; and we meet our latest square pegs, Michael Kinsey and Christian Shabalala.
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Everyone has a role to play in stimulating entrepreneurship

Very often, any discussion about stimulating entrepreneurship devolves into a litany of things the government should be doing, but in reality there is very little that government can do on its own to persuade more South Africans to start their own businesses, and to support them to grow and prosper, says Byron Jeacocks, Business Partners Limited regional general manager.

Entrepreneurship is everyone's concern – parents, teachers, accountants, big business, corporate managers, even workers and unions all have a clear interest in ensuring that South Africa’s entrepreneurs deliver on their much vaunted promise of creating jobs and wealth, improving products and services, driving economic growth and finding solutions to society's needs.

Any overall plan to encourage entrepreneurship, if it is to work, has to be highly integrated with business, labour and civil society. Even the main role of government when it comes to entrepreneurship, namely creating an environment in which businesses can thrive, cannot be done without big business and labour playing their part, says Jeacocks.


Ten financial tips for business owners in hard times

Financial management naturally tends to slip down the list of priorities for business owners when the economy is booming, finance is cheap and clients are plentiful. But when the tide turns, your ability to control your finances, especially your cash flow, becomes probably the most important survival tool available to the entrepreneur.

Veroshen Naidoo, area manager at Business Partners Limited, suggests ten ways for business owners to improve their finances during a downturn:

1. Consolidate your debt

It is easy for business owners to pile up debt during the good times – a credit card or two, a property bond, machines and vehicles bought with various asset-finance loans, generous lines of credit at suppliers and a ballooning bank overdraft. All of this can become crippling when the crunch comes, and one way to survive is to look for a financier that can consolidate it all into one loan with a long enough term to make the instalment affordable. You'll probably end up paying more in interest, but at least you can survive the dip.

November 2016 / Vol.7.10


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

Epic fight to save business from crisis succeeds

The markings of entrepreneurial ingenuity are often portrayed as the size of the empire built, the amount of profit generated or the number of businesses started. In contrast, an often unrecognised sign of business prowess is an entrepreneur's ability to overcome a calamity that would take down any lesser business owner.

Michael Kinsey, who has built his company, Kinsey Engineering, from scratch over thirty years, has just such a war story to tell.

One pay-day about three years ago, Kinsey received the horrifying news that there was not enough cash in the bank for his thirty employees and that his administrator, a woman whom he had known since childhood, had not come in to work. She arrived a few days later to explain she had been taking money from the business.


Inspiring journey to business success

Even dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur was too much of a luxury for Christian Shabalala as he grew up in the grinding poverty of the rural outskirts of Ladysmith. Every day as he walked the many dusty kilometres back home from the farm school, gathering the family's few cows along the way, his most audacious dream was of having a job as an agricultural adviser one day. Dreaming of actually having a farm was just too far out of reach.

Today, he has a farm, and a small holding, and a trucking business, a verge-maintenance company and four fast-food franchise outlets. It has been an epic, improbable journey for Shabalala, 40, who had no foresight of it as a boy, only an ever-present hunger for success.

Location: Clayville Business Park, 56 Axel Road, Clayville, Olifantsfontein.

Description: Unit 2 - approximately 602m² - is available. The unit consists of office and factory space. The entrance to the factory consists of a industrial roller shutter door and there is a door between the factory and offices. The unit also has a separate entrance to the ground floor office and stairs to the first floor offices. It includes toilets, kitchens and 3 phase electricity. It also includes security and electric fencing.

Rent: R39 130.00 (R65.00 pm²), plus VAT and metered electricity, water and sewerage.

Zelda Coetzer
083 289 1748
Location: Benoni Hive, Corner of Rothsay and Harpur Avenue, Benoni.

Description: The units available are approximately 64m². They consist of a roller shutter door to the factory and have 24-hour security.

Rent: R3 040.00 (R47.50 pm²), plus VAT and metered electricity, water and sewerage.

Zelda Coetzer
083 289 1748

Location: Buffalo Thorn Business Park, Nr 56, corner of Van Belkum and Kock Streets, Rustenburg.

Description: 3 Units of 254m² each are available to let (unit 9, 10 and 11). They can be combined for bigger space. The units are road facing and consist of one garage door with access to factory, an open plan reception and office/storage on a mezzanine level. The business Park has 24-hour security with guards at the access point.

Rent: R13 970.00 excl. VAT per month per unit. Metered electricity, sewerage and water charged separately.

Valencia Tshidi
079 011 9191

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