New opportunities for entrepreneurs in a changing economy

In the past, the majority of adults in the workforce tended to look for a career that would see them through to retirement in their 60s. They were happy to work for one company for the duration of their working life.

Times have changed. Today, we have an ageing Baby Boomer generation living longer and needing to work well past “retirement age”, and Millennials wanting more independence, work satisfaction and variety. High levels of debt see many, across the age groups, working more than one “job” to service debt and achieve the living standards they aspire to. At the same time, challenging economic times are seeing companies streamlining, getting leaner and looking at ways to reduce overheads.

All this has led to a new-look workforce, an unprecedented rise in the number of freelances, “slashers” earning additional income over and above their main job, solopreneurs and the otherwise self-employed as independent contracting becomes a mainstream way of life. Adaptive business models are…

Improving SMEs’ access to finance imperative for SA

In recent years, the number of financiers that make funding available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa has increased significantly. Yet in spite of this, each year sees countless SMEs struggling to access business finance, according to Anton Roelofse, Regional General Manager at Business Partners Limited.

“The current economic state is definitely a major contributor to the challenges that SMEs experience in securing funding when they need it. South Africa’s low economic growth over recent years has negatively impacted the future forecasts of most companies and SMEs especially, find it more difficult to show proof that they can remain solvent for the foreseeable future. This is of course one of the qualifying criteria set forth by funding institutions.”

Roelofse explains that applying for business funding involves a number of steps including due diligence, and for certain types of businesses, it may even require trade licenses. “All these steps are necessary for …

Relief rally in EM currencies temporary, USD charges to new 2018 highs

Written by Jameel Ahmad, Global Head of Currency Strategy & Market Research at FXTM

The relief rally that allowed emerging market currencies to regain their composure after a very nervous reaction from investors to the Turkish Lira crisis appears to have been temporary. The majority of emerging market currencies across Asia are trending lower at time of writing, as the political dispute between Turkey and the United States heats up and the US Dollar charges to another milestone high for 2018. The softness in the emerging market currencies will likely spread into the EMEA region when European markets open today and possibly Latin America FX when Wall Street opens this afternoon.

The only real exception to the weakness in the emerging market FX space in Asia has been the Indian Rupee, which is marginally higher against the US Dollar after hitting a new all-time low earlier in the week. When you consider that the Dollar is charging ahead against the majority of its counterparts after…

Make your business the talk of the town

As the reach and versatility of social and digital media have expanded, they have achieved more than simply adding another useful channel to the marketing toolkit, says Richard Mukheibir, CEO of Cash Converters.

“These new channels allow us to drill down into market sectors and localities, interpreting our brand message to appeal at local level encouraging existing and potential customers to step into the store and explore our offerings,” he says. “For franchises particularly, these channels have transformed the way we conduct our marketing activities and liberated franchisees to talk more directly to their customer base.”

For some time, retail chains have tailored stock levels and ranges to each store’s local market and demographic, he notes. Franchises, on the other hand, tend to operate over a spectrum of centralisation. Some insist on tight control of menus or skincare treatments offered and the products used to deliver these, while others give franchisees more room to manoeuvre …

Empowering young girls to be entrepreneurs

Successful female entrepreneurs hone in on the importance of education this Women’s Month

South Africa has low female entrepreneurial activity with female entrepreneurs accounting for only 31% of all entrepreneurs in the country. Furthermore, data from the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for South Africa shows that the ratio of women involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in 2017 compared to that of their male counterparts, was at 0.69 - a concerning but negligible 0.05 decline since 2016.

Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS says that the low female entrepreneurial activity is a worrisome statistic, as the country’s economy begs for growing levels of entrepreneurship across the board.

Speaking in light of Women’s Month this August, Mjadu says that there needs to be a widespread culture shift when it comes to entrepreneurship in South Africa. “In addition to boosting overall levels o…